Food Network’s Gesine Prado offers simple advice to aspiring bakers


Aspiring bakers can learn a lot from Food Network’s Gesine Prado. The self-taught baker offers some simple, yet sage advice for anyone who loves to bake.

Food Network’s Gesine Prado has had a love affair with baking since a young age. The self-taught baker transitioned her passion into a new career. After baking her way through the bar exam and the entertainment world, Prado shares her love of baking with Food Network fans and students in her baking classes. During a recent conversation with her, Prado offered some simple, yet quite insightful, advice that can make anyone a better baker.

On her Food Network show, Baked in Vermont, Prado shows how baking and her life events go hand in hand. From seasonal ingredients to special occasions, the baking is woven into everything that she does. Whether the recipes are simple or elaborate, each dish, at its core, is made with intention and heart.

Whether giving baking tips on her show or in her cooking classes, Prado makes a point to explain the how and why behind ingredients, steps and methods. For example, farm fresh eggs can be a great local ingredient to use. But, if the eggs are too large or aren’t the same size, the recipe may not come out correctly. So, if you want to use happy, local eggs, just make sure that the size is correct for the recipe.

Gesine Prado, Baked in Vermont, photo provided by Food Network

Throughout her show, Prado seamlessly weaves baking tips and technical expertise into the process. The how and why are just as important as the final product. With these little nuggets of details, the home baker can gain confidence in the kitchen.

Baking requires attention to detail. As a former lawyer, Prado can see some similarities between the law and baking. If the home baker doesn’t pay attention to the little details, the dish won’t be right. Prado highly recommends any aspiring baker to have a good kitchen scale.

While most home bakers use measuring cups and spoons for many recipes, those measurements can be inaccurate. Specifically, a packed cup of flour can be too much flour in a recipe. Using a kitchen scale ensures that the right amount of ingredients are used every time. Details, even the tiniest details, matter.

More from FoodSided

Weight measurements ensure consistency. If a recipe doesn’t work, the baker needs to understand what went wrong. Having consistent measures can help understand what can be done differently in future recipes.

Even though details are important, Prado encourages the home baker to have patience. Making the picture perfect cake or flakey pie crust can come with mistakes. Those mistakes are part of learning about baking and bettering the craft.

The best way for a baker to get more confident in the kitchen is to actually bake. Starting with easy recipes allows the home baker to work on her skills. Everyone is going to make mistakes, but those mistakes cannot lead to discouragement. Take each mistake as an opportunity to learn and grow.

The beginning baker needs to learn to forgive herself and not be so judgmental. Sure, everyone would love to make the Instagram worthy, elaborate cake on the first attempt. Unfortunately, that scenario isn’t necessarily reality. Even the best bakers can have an off day.

One of the joys of baking is savoring the moments of creating the food. Baking is a sensory experience. From how the dough feels to the aromas from the oven, baking is more than just the result. Enjoying every moment in the kitchen makes any baked good seem a little sweeter.

Host Gesine Bullock-Prado, with Shaker Chicken Pot Pie, as seen on Baked In Vermont, Season 2. photo provided by Food Network

Prado encourages her students to take a moment during the baking process to be present. Baking can bring great joy, not just with the finished product but also with the time in the kitchen. Maybe that cookie recipe can spark a family memory, create a new affinity for an ingredient or just inspire more baking.

Overall, baking does create a sense of accomplishment. The process starts with just ingredients and ends with a tasty treat. Even if the final product isn’t perfection, the completing the process is an accomplishment.

After speaking with Prado, I was inspired to start baking more. While I have confidence in my savory cooking, baking has always been a little more difficult for me. To aid my new endeavors, I have a new kitchen scale. More importantly, I have forced myself not to criticize my final baking product.

The hour that I spent creating biscuits wasn’t about a perfectly flaky, melt in your mouth biscuit. It was about spending time getting my hands dirty, laughing with my kids and letting go of the flour spilled all over the floor. Those biscuits didn’t win any prizes, but we did have a great afternoon in the kitchen.

Next: Macaron and macaroon are two different cookies

Gesine Prado stars in Baked in Vermont on the Food Network. Episodes air on Sundays at 12:30 p.m. EST and is available on demand.