Baking Beauty: Vail’s Amber Croom competing on Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship |

Baking Beauty: Vail’s Amber Croom competing on Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship

Food network host Bobby Deen watches contestant Amber Croom from Vail preparing her dish, Praline Pecan Bundt Cake and Pecan Sandies, for the main heat, Holiday Bundt Cake Wreaths. The Holiday Baking Championship opens Sunday and runs seven weeks.
Eddy Chen|The Food network |

To tune in

Vail local Amber Croom is competing in The Food Network’s “Holiday Baking Championship.” The seven-week series begins at 7 p.m. Mountain Time on Sunday on The Food Network.

NEW YORK — You can get there from here, and Amber Croom managed to bake her way from Birmingham, Ala., to Vail to New York to compete for a national title on The Food Network.

Croom is one of nine contestants on Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship, airing Sunday night.

Croom worked at Rimini Gelato and Chocolate where her days started at 5 in the morning.

Guest come in and ask for all kinds of things.

“For some reason, in the winter people want ice cream,” Croom said.

Croom is originally from Birmingham, Ala., and moved to Vail for an internship with Rimini.

She got a call from The Food Network, asking her to audition. She thought it was a hoax.

“I looked it up and said, ‘Oh, You’re real!’” Croom said.

Made for TV Amber

She spent three weeks in the network’s New York studios, baking up a storm. Host Bobby Deen mixes things up with surprising twists along the way.

“They made it sound easy, like a breeze. It wasn’t,” Croom said.

Because it’s holiday baking and a contest, Croom took holiday favorites of family and set about glamming them up.

“You spend your days on set handling whatever challenged they throw your way,” Croom said. “Sometimes in the middle of a challenge they’ll throw another challenge at you.”

“I wasn’t too surprised when they threw something at me,” Croom said.

It’s TV, after all.

“Everything has a time limit. Everything was pressure and drama,” Croom said. “You wouldn’t want to watch it if it was nine people standing around a kitchen.”

Like all reality shows of this sort, every episode someone is eliminated.

Each of the nine Holiday Baking Championship contestants is out to “sleigh” the competition, the Food Network wrote in its press release.

Cookie challenges are grandma-inspired, dessert competitions celebrate ugly holiday sweaters, pie contests require everything to be made by hand, and a Bundt cake is shaped like a wreath.

Judges Duff Goldman, Nancy Fuller and Lorraine Pascale decide who wins the $50,000 grand prize.

Croom knows how it turned out, but she promised not to blab.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

Support Local Journalism

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User