North Vancouver’s Davis Sams, 13, is the only Canadian battling it out for baking supremacy on the reality TV show Kids Baking Championship. Sams is up against a dozen talented young bakers, ranging in age from nine to 13, tested each week with difficult dessert challenges and curveball ingredients. Hosts Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldman mentor the bakers through the tasty tasks. The best kid baker will score $25,000 and a spot in Food Network Magazine.
North Shore News: What is your earliest baking memory?
Davis Sams: When I was two or three years old, making raspberry tarts with my Grammie.
North Shore News: What do you enjoy baking the most and what’s the most difficult thing you have made?
Davis Sams: French macarons. I like trying to make baking look like art.
North Shore News: Who’s your celebrity baking idol and why?
Davis Sams: Anna Olson because she can bake everything perfectly, and I met her at the EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival.
North Shore News: Do you ask your parents for the latest baking gadgets?
Davis Sams: Not really, I find it sort of difficult to use all the new tools.
North Shore News: Describe the time you had an epic fail in the kitchen.
Davis Sams: Once I was baking a three-tiered, gluten-free vegan cake and since there’s not much stability in gluten-free cakes, while I was crumb coating one of the tiers it split down the middle and fell apart.
North Shore News: Do you enjoy other elements of cooking?
Davis Sams: Yes, I also like making chocolates and homemade pasta.
North Shore News: What attracted you to apply to Kids Baking Championship?
Davis Sams: It’s my favourite TV show.
North Shore News: I saw on the premiere that you had meant to apply to be on the show last year but something went wrong.
Davis Sams: On the online application form the send button is next to the delete button and I accidentally pressed delete.
North Shore News: Speaking of the premiere, how cool was it that (judge) Valerie Bertinelli gave you props first? (She was surprised that you were making pastry cream.)
Davis Sams: It was awesome and I felt very proud.
North Shore News: What was going through your mind knowing you had to pair ginger with bacon for your cupcake challenge?
Davis Sams: I don’t think bacon goes with ginger.
North Shore News: How do you adapt with a time limit put on your baking during the show?
Davis Sams: I needed a lot of time management skills, and I would check to see how far everyone else was and see if I was ahead of them or behind them.
North Shore News: What have you learned about baking from being on the show?
Davis Sams: Not to over bake your bacon cupcakes and how to work with mascarpone cheese.
North Shore News: Were the other kids curious about Canada? Did you get any funny questions from them?
Davis Sams: Everyone was asking if Canadians drink maple syrup straight. There are lots of words that we pronounce differently, like pecan. They say pee-KAHN.
North Shore News: What would you do with the $25,000 if you won?
Davis Sams: Start a huge baking business and pay for architecture school.
North Shore News: Are you being recognized in the hallways at school?
Davis Sams: Yeah, everyone’s been like: ‘Hey, are you that kid from the show?’
North Shore News: Are you hosting viewing parties with your friends and family? What do you serve them?
Davis Sams: I make the baking challenge dessert for our guests.
North Shore News: What are your other hobbies?
Davis Sams: I am an entrepreneur and have had lots of small businesses and business ideas. I also play hockey, I am an artist, I like sewing, climbing and sing in the choir at school.
North Shore News: What is your favourite dessert from a North Shore bakery or restaurant?
Davis Sams: Anything at Thomas Haas.
North Shore News: What do you plan to do after you graduate high school?
Davis Sams: Open multiple bakeries, be an entrepreneur and be an architect.