LeeAnn Tolentino wanted a challenge on Spring Baking Championship

LeeAnn Tolentino, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 7. Photo provided by Food Network
LeeAnn Tolentino, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 7. Photo provided by Food Network /

As one of the Spring Baking Championship Season 7 bakers, LeeAnn Tolentino was ready to embrace the Food Networking baking challenge. While fans of the popular Food Network show might have wished to see more of her elegant desserts, the talented baker found the opportunity that she needed to take. Even if she believes in the concept, “less is more,” there is more to come for this talented baker.

Although LeeAnn was eliminated in Spring Baking Championship Season 7 episode 2, that avocado dessert read more like a savory bite than a sweet one. But, that one dessert is not indicative of her baking talent. Still, that main heat challenge seemed to exemplify one of the reasons why LeeAnn wanted to be part of the Food Network show.

LeeAnn commented, “The challenge and thrill drew me to compete in the Spring Baking Championship. It was a new experience to compete and be on TV. I wanted to challenge myself in how I could perform in that atmosphere and whether I would be first or last, just being on the show was already a great experience and honor to have been selected.

Embracing a baking challenge is a concept that she has learned in her pastry career. Having worked at Dominique Ansel Bakery, that opportunity impacted her approach to baking and pastries.

Referring to her time at Dominique Ansel Bakery, LeeAnn said, “Working at Dominique Ansel Bakery was a great experience. It allowed me to open my creative mind and challenge myself with what we can come up with. Also, being mentored by Chef Dominique provided me with a lot of knowledge in not only recipes and techniques but also all the little details it takes to run a business and team.”

While she has had to push flavor boundaries in her baking experience, sometimes there are certain flavors that bakers prefer to avoid. For example, LeeAnn said, “I’m not a fan of floral flavors like lavender and rose water. But if used correctly it can complement the dessert nicely instead of it tasting like potpourri.”

As seen in previous Spring Baking Championship seasons, floral flavors can be difficult. Still, the Food Network show is about showcasing both baking skill and a perfect dessert.

When posed with the following question, what is more difficult to master, a perfectly sandy cookie or the picture perfect plated dessert, LeeAnn had some thoughts.

She said, “I think both have its challenges. A sandy cookie takes a lot of testing until you find that perfect recipe and even after you find it, it needs to be made & baked accurately each time to achieve perfection. As for the plated dessert, it’s about making the dessert taste and look good and beautiful on each plate. It’s also about speed and precision to guarantee that the guests get their dessert on time.”

After appearing on Spring Baking Championship, LeeAnn appreciates what the Food Network show offered her. She said, “It’s a great experience and another thing I can add to my accomplishments in my career. Opportunities always arise and this experience can lead to more opportunities in the future.”

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Spring Baking Championship airs on Food Network Mondays at 9 p.m. EST and can be found on Discovery Plus.