VIDEO: Teenage TX Baker Showcases Skills in Contest

Sunflower cake
Sunflower cake | Image by David’s Bakery Desserts & More/Facebook

A Texas teen who runs his own bakery business will now have the chance to show off his talents to the world through an online baking contest.

David Gutierrez-Sanchez, 17, of Vidor, Texas, was recently selected to participate in The Greatest Baker 2023 competition, presented by Cake Boss star Chef Buddy Valastro. Each competitor must submit at least one photo of himself and his original baking creation.

Participants in the tournament-style baking contest will go through elimination rounds, with those receiving the most online votes moving on to the next round. To win, one must not only have top-tier baking skills but must also be able to “leverage the power of social media and word-of-mouth advertising to garner the support of the public to vote,” according to a press release.

Anyone can vote for free for his favorite contestant once per day. Since voters won’t be able to taste the creations, the contest focuses on the appearance and presentation of the baked goods.

Voters can cast additional votes for a fee, raising funds that will be donated to the Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation. The organization provides assistance to families across the country dealing with childhood cancer.

Gutierrez-Sanchez, an experienced baker and cake decorator, has been running his own business, David’s Bakery Desserts & More, since he was 14. He works from his family’s home kitchen and advertises his products online.

His business Facebook page shows a sampling of some of his creations, including colorful macarons, Hocus Pocus-theme cake pops, a four-tier wedding cake decorated with fresh flowers, an architectural engineer-themed graduation cake, a sunflower cake with butterflies, a Harley-Davidson-themed motorcycle cake, and many other designs.

“I have weddings, parties, birthdays, every kind of occasion that you have,” Gutierrez-Sanchez told WFAA.

He learned his craft by watching YouTube videos on cake decoration, including some by Chef Valastro, who he said “was some of my inspiration,” according to WFAA.

The enterprising teen encourages others who want to learn the art of cake decorating to persist in their efforts.

“Just go for it. Try and try. You’re going to fail. You’re going to make ugly cakes, but that doesn’t matter. Everyone starts from the bottom, and you have to keep trying,” he said, per WFAA.

The winner of The Greatest Baker competition will receive a sweet deal, pocketing $10,000 and the opportunity to be featured in Bake From Scratch magazine. In addition, the winner and one guest will be flown to an as-yet undisclosed location for a three-day, two-night stay and the opportunity for a meet and greet with Chef Valastro.

Gutierrez-Sanchez already has plans on what to do with the prize money if he wins.

“I’m going to donate part of my money to my church, One City Church in Beaumont; I’m going to give money to my parents and my sister. And the rest I’m going to use for my education,” he told WFAA.

The initial round of voting in The Greatest Baker competition begins November 27, with several elimination rounds to follow. Finals voting is from January 26 to February 1, and the winner will be announced on February 9, 2024.

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