Local bakers compete on Food Network Championship

Hemu Basu and Ida Sunday, popular Katy bakers, are showcasing their talents by baking their way toward a $25,000 prize on Food Network’s Wedding Cake Championship. 

The show spotlights six of the best baking duos in the country who will face fun, exciting challenges as they create wedding cake masterpieces for the judges. 

Each week, hosts Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir will take viewers through the cake making process of the baking teams as they first create cake toppers based on a mystery theme, then create wedding cakes for actual engaged couples. 

Contestants’ cakes are judged by celebrity chef, Maneet Chauhan, bridal fashion designer, Randy Fenoli, and cake artist and owner of The Butter End Cakery in Los Angeles, Kimberly Bailey. 

Teams are eliminated each week, and the team that makes it to the end of the competition wins the $25,000 prize and the title of Wedding Cake Champions.

The first episode of the season aired on Monday, June 3rd, and contestants created a “city of love” themed cake topper and constructed a dream wedding cake for a couple of professional puppeteers that blended traditional wedding cake elements with a puppet theme. 

The couple then chose their favorite cake to grace their wedding, and the judges chose a team to send home. 

Basu and Sunday, originally from India and Indonesia respectively, are stay-a-home- mothers with a passion for baking. The home- based bakers are completely self-taught, never having recieved any professional training, but create stunning, edible masterpieces. The women met each other through Facebook on the Katy/ Fort Bend Foodies page. 

Sunday explained, “I saw Hemu’s beautiful work online, and I reached out to her. I wanted her to teach me everything she knew. She’s so talented!” 

The two became fast friends through their love of the artistry of cake making and used each other’s skills and strengths to collaborate.  

Basu has been recognized in the Himachal Times, a publication in India, for being the first Indian citizen on an International cake show. Her intricately detailed cake made in the likeness of Mahatma Ghandi has been spotlighted all over the country. 

While she enjoys baking for the community and sharing her works on her brand page, The Sweet Sensation, she truly enjoys competing. Basuwas awarded first place at the Pretty Witty Cakes UK competition with her beautiful Rainbow Macaw cake. 

For the past three years, she has looked forward to attending the Sugar Arts Showcase in San Antonio, where she has won first place each year, and her list of accomplishments and recognitions goes on and on. 

Basu most enjoys using her talent with cakes to create sculptures and really bringing them to life. 

Sunday has created an extraordinary career for herself as well.  Her bakery, Ida’s Sweet Creations, has become incredibly popular in Katy for exceptional, custom decorated cakes and cookies. 

The online reviews and photos are a true testament to Sunday’s work. Tiered birthday and graduation cakes and artfully designed cookies truly come naturally to Sunday. 

What she loves most about cake making is experiencing people’s reactions to her decorated cakes. She loves to bring smiles to the faces of the Katy community. 

“Cakes are a big part of celebrations, and showing up with a cake and seeing people light up when they see it, that’s when my hard work pays off,” she said. 

The Food Network contacted Basu to see if she was interested in applying to be on the first season of Wedding Cake Championship, and she knew she had to have Sunday as her teammate.

After a long application and video interview process, the women had to wait for a response. 

The duo was not chosen to compete for the first season but were called back to appear on the second. 

“It is so crazy seeing ourselves on the show, but it’s been such a once in a lifetime experience,” Basu said, and Sunday added, “But, it is incredibly nerve-wracking having cameras around all the time. They are always around for every part of the process.”

While Basu is used to the pressure of competitive baking, Sunday described how the Wedding Cake Championship has been a whole new experience for her. 

“It’s very intimidating,” Sunday admitted. “Many of the contestants have big, well-known bakeries and trained in great programs, and we’re stay-at-home-moms with no experience or training from any culinary schools, so it can be very intimidating.” 

The bakers also expressed how amazing it is to be in competition with such an inspiring group of fellow cake makers. 

“All the bakers are winners. All the teams are brilliantly talented. To make such massive, detailed cakes in five hours when, normally, it would probably take around 15 hours, is amazing,” Basu said. “The amount of talent on the show is amazing.” 

Sunday also emphasized, “Everyone on the show was great. Everyone was competitive, and it was a tough competition.”

During the season premiere of the show, Basu and Sunday say that, by coming from other countries and getting to compete on the show, they are “living the American dream.”

Support Basu and Sunday, and watch them compete for $25,000 on Food Channel’s Wedding Cake Championship on Mondays at 10/9c.