5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
Holiday Baking Championship has returned to the Food Network with a new batch of holiday bakers and even more decadent holiday desserts. Host Jesse Palmer, along with judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman, and Lorraine Pascale, test the skills of nine talented bakers as they whisk, fold and frost their way through difficult challenges throughout the seven episodes.
One of the holiday bakers is North Shore Community College Pastry Chef Douglas Phillips. His passions are teaching and his family.
SD: What made you decide to become a baker?
DP: I became a baker because I loved the beauty and artistry of it. I love what you can create when baking. There are so many variations of desserts, your imagination is endless when it comes to creating. I have a huge sweet tooth and I will always find room for more dessert. Plus, it is always better to leave work smelling like powdered sugar instead of grease.
SD: What was it like trying out for the show?
DP: I didn’t try out. They contacted me, because of some pictures of my work they saw from the restaurant, Woods Hill Table, I was working at in Concord. Initially, I didn’t want to do it, but my wife is my biggest cheerleader and told me I should. he entire process from start to taping was a whirlwind of excitement.
SD: What was most surprising about being a contestant on the show?
DP: How real it really is. Going from being a viewer to a contestant was a bit surreal. What you watch on TV, is really when is happening. The show is about real people creating real things.
SD: As a pastry instructor at Northshore Community College, what joy to do get from teaching others?
DP: At the time, we were beginning our family and I didn’t want to work restaurant hours. Working at NCC Middleton campus, has given me the best of both worlds. I can still bake, and I am able to share my love of baking with my students.
SD: Favorite Holiday baking tradition?
DP: It’s decorating cookies. My mom would bake gingerbread cookies and we would decorate them. Since I don’t like them, she would also make sugar cookies (which I love). I have always loved and still love the holiday togetherness with friends and family. Growing up, we would have cookie decorating parties and they were always so much fun.
For more information on the Holiday Baking Championship, visit www.foodnetwork.com