11:09 a.m., Nov. 19, 2010----Dana Herbert, a University of Delaware alumnus, owner and pastry chef of Desserts by Dana and head chef of the Delaware River and Bay Authority, will appear on The Learning Channel's (TLC) new competition series, Cake Boss: Next Great Baker. The show is scheduled to air at 9 p.m., Monday, Dec. 6.
In the all-new eight-week competition elimination series, Herbert, a 1998 graduate of UD's Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management and resident of Bear, Del., will be vying for a sweet prize -- $50,000 cash and the chance to work alongside TLC star Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro at Carlo's Bakery.
“I was browsing the Internet and stumbled on the opportunity to be on the show,” said Herbert. “Lo and behold I saw it was with Buddy Valastro and I thought that was pretty cool.”
After what he called a “tough selection process” including various applications, videos, interviews and more, Herbert was chosen as one of 10 contestants for the Next Great Baker.
In the series, Buddy Valastro and his family, of the TLC hit show Cake Boss, will test the resourcefulness and inventiveness of 10 talented pastry chefs competing to earn the title of “Next Great Baker.”
Each week, the Valastros will push the contestants' baking and decorating skills to the limit through increasingly difficult challenges designed to test their business sense and cake artistry. Someone will win and someone will be sent home every week until the “Next Great Baker” stands alone, triumphant.
When asked why he should be the “Next Great Baker,” Herbert said he is hungry, humble and passionate enough to work harder than the rest.
“I'm hungrier than most,” said Herbert during his contestant interview on the Next Great Baker website. “You know, most people do, say, an 80-hour work week, where I'll push 100, 120 like it's nothing.”
The hours, said Herbert, are a result of his two full-time jobs and his commitment to giving each 100 percent.
“The proof is in the pudding,” Herbert said. “How far will you push it to be the best? Can you not only go to the edge, but also live on the edge like its normal? There's a quote from a movie -- 'where you stop is where I begin' -- that always stuck with me. In order to be better than average, I feel like I have to be willing to go further, train harder and work harder than the others.”
Herbert said he learned a lot from his time on Next Great Baker that he would bring back to Desserts by Dana and the Delaware River and Bay Authority.
“There are so many talented people out there,” said Herbert. “You have to be confident in yourself that you can hang with the best of them, but at the same time be humble enough to learn from anyone.”
Camaraderie among the contestants and working against the clock also gave Herbert the drive to go on.
“My favorite thing about being on the show was the rush of it all,” Herbert said. “The clock never stopped. It was nobody's friend and it forced us to work quickly while at the same time pushed us to do our best.
“The people were also great. When you are together under those circumstances for a long period of time, you tend to build a bond.”
Other contestants include Brian Stevens from Austin, Texas; Corina Elgart from Huntington, N.Y.; Gregory Paul Soriano from Jersey City, N.J.; Jay Qualls from Nashville, Tenn.; Joe Glaser from Brooklyn, N.Y.; Johanna Lyons from Hanson, Mass.; Kendra Jordan from Emporia, Va.; Megan Rountree from Keller, Texas; and Pamela Ahn from Washington, D.C.
This is the second TLC show on which Herbert has appeared. In October 2009, he appeared on TLC's Ultimate Cake Off, where he competed to create a cake to be featured at Lego Land California's 10th birthday celebration.
Article by Kathryn A. Marrone