It’s been a very busy few months for local baker Jonathan Peregrino. He’s currently the pastry chef at Oak and Reel in Detroit, the head baker at Tapped Beverages in Canton, and now he’s adding to the list by competing on the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship.
And did we mention he only got started 2 years ago?
Peregrino left his job in the corporate world to pursue a childhood passion for baking. He even set a goal for himself to be in the industry by the time he was 40. Now he’s 38, and he’s baking professionally on national television.
When Food Network’s casting director first reached out to him on Instagram, Peregrino said he thought it was a joke. He decided to respond anyway, and said it was a whirlwind from there. “From the first message to a month later I was in California filming,” Peregrino said.
He can’t talk about the specifics of the challenges yet, and said you’ll have to tune in to the show’s season premiere this Monday at 9pm, but he did say he and his fellow competitors were really surprised.
Peregrino also showed off some of his bakes. Perigrino’s family is from the Philippines, and he said a lot of his baking is inspired by creating hybrids out of what he grew up eating. He made cream-cheese stuffed Pandesal, a Filipino bread roll, and topped them with everything bagel seasoning. He also combined cheese cake with ube, a bright purple yam, for a different flavor and texture. And of course, he said he had to also show off his mom’s pecan pie recipe.
To hear more from Peregrino, check out the video above.