Madison baker to appear on Food Network’s gingerbread competition
Christina Schubert creates a masterpiece on "Holiday Baking Championship: Gingerbread Showdown," airing Nov. 29
To quote Madison-area baker Christina Schubert, things get pretty “gingerbreadlicious” during her appearance on Food Network’s “Holiday Baking Competition: Gingerbread Showdown.”
Schubert, who heads Elegant Foods’ gluten-free bakery, is a contestant on the holiday episode that will air at 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 29.
(Christina Schubert is the contestant who says “gingerbreadlicious” in the clip above. Her baking partner, Ana Silva, says “Happy Holidays.”)
She and her baking partner, Ana Silva, had 10 hours to bake and decorate a showpiece at Food Network’s studio kitchen in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Schubert has had a knack for creating impressive gingerbread installations from the start; her first attempt at a major piece was a 7-foot-tall castle for The Drake Hotel’s lobby in Chicago. “I do love a challenge,” Schubert says. Using gingerbread, she’s recreated Chicago landmarks, constructed villages and built life-size Christmas trees.
Since graduating from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, Schubert has flexed her culinary skills on staff at The Drake Hotel and The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, among other notable restaurants and cafes. She now spends her time making 16 different kinds of French macarons, bread, pound cake and chocolate mousse pies for Elegant Foods’ gluten-free bakery.
It was a former boss, Gene Webb, who encouraged Schubert to apply for the show. After she was selected, Schubert says it was a whirlwind, and not something she’d ever imagine herself doing. She confesses she doesn’t even like watching those kinds of competition shows.
“It’s like figure skating — I hate to watch it because I hate to see people crash. It makes me nervous,” she says.
Being on the show was a different story. “I sure enjoyed the heck out of it,” she says. “I had such a good time. If the opportunity were to present itself again, I would seriously consider it.”
In the meantime, she’s keeping her skills sharp — the day after Thanksgiving, Schubert was installing a sizable gingerbread scene at North Shore Boulangerie in Milwaukee. It’s one of two displays she has recently been contracted to do by Webb.
Schubert says her mother would love it if she continued creating gingerbread masterpieces. “She very much likes that I make gingerbread. I get a lot of my culinary ‘what-the-heck’ attitude from her,” Schubert says. “When she found out I was on the show, she was over the moon.”
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