Michelle Gayer possible judge for new baking competition show

Categories: News
Michelle Gayer of the Salty Tart
Do you recognize this woman? The rest of America may be getting to know her soon too.

As American television networks are wont to do, CBS announced it is developing its own version of the popular UK series The Great British Bake Off, a competition show that pits the country's best amateur bakers against one another over the course of several weeks. Contestants must display proficiency with pastries, bread, custards, and cakes in all aspects from technical baking to festive frosting. Sounds pretty fun to watch, but as with any reality competition show, cooking or otherwise, you need captivating judges to really seal the deal with viewers.

The new show -- to be called, predictably, The Great American Bake Off -- is seeking out experienced, talented, and charismatic personalities from the world of professional American baking to audition to serve as judges. Anyone local come to mind? You might have had one of her incredible Surly cupcakes, or maybe sampled her famous and deceptively simple cream-filled brioche, or eaten a sandwich on one of her gorgeously glossy buns at restaurants around town.

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Mpls/St. Paul Magazine reports that Michelle Gayer, James Beard Award-winning pastry chef and owner of beloved Salty Tart bakery, is being considered as the female judge for the show and has already been to audition for the part in California.

The show's format will mimic the British original, in which legendary cookbook author and "queen of cakes" Mary Berry was teamed up with celebrity chef, well-known bread baker, and Baldwin brother lookalike Paul Hollywood. (I was a devoted follower of the show, OK?) Gayer tells Mpls/St. Paul that Hollywood will still be in the American version, so there is only one open slot. Among other current Food Network show hosts also being considered for the female judge spot is Christina Tosi, widely known as the inventive pastry chef behind NYC's Momofuku Milk Bar's creations like blueberries and cream cookies and crack pie. 

Sounds like Gayer got a little rattled in the audition, but no official announcements have been made just yet. Stay tuned for updates.


Location Info

Salty Tart

920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant


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