Holly Braddock hates snakes, but the first cake she made at the Halloween Baking Championship on the Food Network looked like one. The cookies she made looked like snake eggs with baby snakes coming out of them.
“It was hard to even look at them,” she laughed, “I hate snakes.”
Braddock was one of 10 bakers from across the country on the six-episode show that was filmed in less than three weeks in California, premiering Sept. 14.
The first episode, the one that included Braddock’s snake treats, was the “House of Haunts,” hosted by Carla Hall and judged by Hall, Stephanie Boswell and Zac Young.
Because the Sept. 28 episode, “Bloody Good Smorgasbord,” also already aired, it isn’t a spoiler for the professional baker and chef to reveal that she made the cut for that one.
The last baker standing takes home $25,000.
The episodes of this sixth season air on Mondays at 9 p.m.
Braddock, who’s been baking and cooking since she was a kid, has been the pastry chef and head decorator at Incredible Edibles Bakery in Pawleys Island for a couple years.
She also worked at Collectors Café in Myrtle Beach, closed since a July fire, for about six years.
Being in California was new and exciting for Braddock, and being on a televised Food Network competition was…well, it was the icing on the cake for her.
“The filming was intense,” she said, “And it took some getting used to.
“You’re not in your own kitchen. You’re not using your own tools and your own supplies and it was all surreal.
“There were these amazing celebrity judges and famous chefs. We fed them our desserts and it’s the most stressful thing. It’s terrifying to know what they’ll think, but so rewarding when they eat it and love it. That was really, really cool.”
Engaged to Scott Lauer who owns a liquor store in Garden City, Braddock has three children between 15 and 18, and is busy planning her February 2021 wedding.
She’s been baking and cooking since she was in high school, but was much younger when she started watching her paternal grandmother, Myrtle Braddock who she called Mama, bake.
“I watched her for hours and hours,” the pastry chef said about her first mentor who passed away in June.
The year Braddock had her seventh birthday, Mama made her a wedding cake for the occasion.
“That’s what I wanted for my birthday,” she said – “And it was the coolest thing.”
Watching her grandmother gave Braddock a hobby, which turned into a career. Eventually, she’d like to turn it into a business and have her own bakery.
The best part of the Food Network experience, she said, was meeting the other nine contestants.
“When I work, it’s just me, I’m the cake decorator.
“So, to go and meet these nine other contestants that have the same passion with pastry arts that I do is really cool.
“Now we’re great friends and text almost every single day and that’s one of the best things that came from this competition,” Braddock said.