Amber Croom and Yassmeen Haskins reflect on winning Crime Scene Kitchen Season 2, interview

Amber Croom and Yassmeen Haskins winner Crime Scene Kitchen, photo provided by FOX
Amber Croom and Yassmeen Haskins winner Crime Scene Kitchen, photo provided by FOX /

Winning Crime Scene Kitchen Season 2 is more than just hoisting a trophy in victory and earning monetary prizes. For professional bakers Amber Croom and Yassmeen Haskins, the journey is one more opportunity to represent not only their talent but also inspire others to achieve in the food world. During a recent conversation, Amber and Yass spoke candidly about deciphering the clues, executing the desserts, and representing their community while winning Crime Scene Kitchen Season 2.

When Crime Scene Kitchen Season 2 announced it would separate professionally trained bakers from self-taught bakers, some people wondered if there was an advantage to the culinary professionals. Although there were ups and downs throughout the season, the reality is that pastry school is not detective school. Even though the bakers might know how to make a floating island, it does not mean that they actually solved the clues and had the confidence to put it on the plate.

In the finale, Amber Croom and Yassmeen Haskins showcased their knowledge and skills to earn that coveted title. Even though they did not get the right flavor for the finale cake, their cake decorating ability combined with a well-executed dessert push them to the top.

Amber Croom and Yassmeen Haskins reflect on winning Crime Scene Kitchen Season 2, interview
Amber Croom and Yassmeen Haskins winner Crime Scene Kitchen, photo provided by FOX /

During a recent conversation with the Crime Scene Kitchen Season 2 winners, the pair, who are now business partners in Beye Beignets, had much to say about the FOX baking show. While both bakers have had experience on food television baking competitions, previously, Crime Scene Kitchen is far different from those other next shows.

As Yass said, “we figured out how to the play the game very early. Down the road we hit our stride. With most challenges we knew what it was, but we kept saying that there is a clue missing.”

Amber followed up sharing, “I felt like they kept switching up where they would put things. Just when you would get comfortable looking in certain spot, they would switch it up. Even though we continuously changed our strategy, it was sometimes that little clue.”

Still, the pair understood that they needed to continually adapt their thinking. Sometimes they needed to think like a self-taught baker. Other times they needed to focus on classic desserts. It was not necessarily time to bring out their restaurant dessert experience. Sometimes, they needed to simplify.

Looking at the last challenge of the season, the cocktail inspired cake, Yass, who has made cakes for the Preakness Stakes and former President Obama, said that the challenge might have been in her wheelhouse, but it was much more complicated. “It was about remembering everything that you saw in the Crime Scene Kitchen. Yolanda picked just about every medium for cake decorating. Even though I was a little more versed in cakes, it didn’t matter if you didn’t get the clues right.”

Even though the pair might still be kicking themselves for not going with their gut and creating a Dark and Stormy cake, the reality is that the Crime Scene Kitchen finale was full of pressure. Presenting a three-tier cake to Yolanda Gampp is a tall task.

Talking about the enormity of the challenge, Yass said, “you’re going to be on guard when you present something to someone who is top of that field. They’re going to have more critiques than normal. You want to do your best, but this is the best we can do in three hours and we’re proud of that. There were imperfections but it looked beautiful and we’re proud of it.”

Even though the pair has been on other food television baking competitions, the friends and colleagues knew that one aspect would guide their experience. They wanted to have fun, be in the moment, and enjoy the experience. They knew how to bake. They had the experience. Even though the win might have been the goal, they never turned down the opportunity to dance in the kitchen.

While the crown is theirs, winning Crime Scene Kitchen Season 2 is more than just a title. Throughout the season the pair mentioned how important it is for them to represent as members of the baking community.

As Amber explained, “I know people say this a lot, but the reality is representation does matter, especially when you know the youth and just people are inundated with so many different types of things on social media now. I feel like us being there to represent, who we are, can show a younger generation, or just even older generation that this is a career path that can be taken and there is success at the end of that. For people who choose to do it, there is space for you. I can’t say that when I was growing up, I saw a lot of people that looked like me on the Food Network or PBS or anything like that. It was very important that we get on there and we show the talent that we have, the camaraderie that we have together, that all is possible. And, I feel like we proved that.”

Winning Crime Scene Kitchen Season 2 might be a triumphant for Amber Croom and Yassmeen Haskins, but they do have a few moments where they might prefer a do-over. From the floating island to that Tarte Tatin, they might never look at a pear the same way.

Be sure to check out their new venture, Beye Beignets as well as Amber’s business, And4Dessert and Yassmeen’s business Cocoa and Nuts Pastries.

Want to catch-up on all the Crime Scene Kitchen clues. Season 1 and Season 2 can be streamed on Hulu.

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