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- Courtesy Of Food Network/warner Bros Discovery And Anderson James
- Jessica Quiet and her WhistlePig Whiskey cake
Thinking spring? So is Jessica Quiet, executive pastry chef at the Lodge at Spruce Peak in Stowe. On Monday, March 6, she'll make her Food Network debut on "Spring Baking Championship."
Quiet, 34, is no stranger to high-pressure contests. While still a high school student in St. Johnsbury, she won first place for Vermont and fourth place nationally in the SkillsUSA Commercial Baking competition.
But when producers for "Spring Baking Championship" asked if she would be interested in the television show, "it took a little debating until I got the courage up," Quiet said. "The SkillsUSA competitions don't have cameras in your face and America watching you."
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- Courtesy Of Anderson James
- Jessica Quiet
Ultimately, she decided to participate in the show to inspire younger generations of aspiring bakers. Quiet was in the first class to open St. Johnsbury Academy's student-run Hilltopper Restaurant, and she credits chef-instructor Paula Bystrzycki with showing her "the sweet side" of the culinary industry. Quiet went on to earn a baking and pastry arts degree at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island and work for hotels in Boston, Florida and Minnesota.
In 2019, she returned home and joined the Lodge at Spruce Peak. There, Quiet creates "classical French pastries with a twist," she said, such as éclairs with freeze-dried strawberry powder, matcha custard and candied lilac; and chocolate angel food cake with ricotta-mascarpone cream and bark made with her favorite Vermont ingredient, Caledonia Spirits' Barr Hill Raw Honey.
Now in its ninth season, "Spring Baking Championship" is hosted by television personality and former pro football player Jesse Palmer, with judges Kardea Brown, Nancy Fuller and Duff Goldman. The two-hour premiere airs March 6 at 8 p.m. on Food Network and Discovery+.
Quiet can't share much about the show before it airs, but she told Seven Days she's still in touch with the other 11 baker-contestants.
"It was the sweetest group," Quiet said. "They had to remind us, 'Hey, you're in a competition show. $25,000 is at stake.'"