Featured Pioneer
June 17, 2016

The career opportunity of a lifetime, three UAV professional baking and pastry students landed on the Food Network payroll working as Cupcake Wars baking assistants. 

















Your big opportunity might be right where you are right now. ~ Napoleon Hill, author

 The career opportunity of a lifetime, three UAV professional baking and pastry students landed on the Food Network payroll working as Cupcake Wars baking assistants.

One of UAV's professional baking and pastry students took a chance and answered a call extended by the Food Network looking for baking assistants on the acclaimed and highly successful Cupcake Wars. On each episode, four teams of bakers, two-members each, enter a cupcake-baking competition vying for the grand prize of $10,000. The show also hosts a Celebrity Cupcake Wars where prize money is donated to the winning celebrity's charity.

Jackie Vetter noticed a June 2016 post on Facebook that the Food Network was taking applications for baking assistants on Cupcake Wars and immediately thought of Aryanna Garcia, who had completed her UAV externship and is preparing for commencement. Jackie tagged Aryanna, who was selected to interview with the production staff at the network's Hollywood headquarters where she submitted her portfolio and resume and was told she would be contacted if successful.

After a few weeks of doubt that she would receive a return message, it arrived. Aryanna was messaged and asked to select a block of days to work and was issued a start date. After four days of working at the network as a baking assistant the producers asked if she knew other talented potential applicants. Arayanna replied, "Give me five minutes." The call went out to her former classmates, some of whom were physically in Chefs Neria and Ramos' classes.

Aryanna contacted Summer Damm, a fellow student and co-worker at Barely Cake in Lancaster, CA. The two spoke with their employer who supported their effort 100% and advised them to take advantage of this opportunity. This is when a full circle was made back to Jackie Vetter, the student that directed Aryanna to the original post was now scheduled for an interview.

The days were long (7:30 am to 8 pm), tiring, and educational and alternated between "prep and shoot." Prep day consisted of preparing and measuring ingredients for contestants, rolling out fondant, making cupcake toppers, filling display cases in the final round, etc. "Working on the show is an amazing learning opportunity, especially working with and learning from the executives who are experts in the culinary industry, said Jackie Vetter. "I learned new techniques for piping and even filling the bags."

When asked to discuss their episodes in detail the ladies explained that due to contractual confidentiality agreements that discussion is not permitted, but did acknowledge they were employed to assist on Celebrity Cupcake Wars and the judges were Florian Bellanger and Elizabeth Hammer.

Aryanna (promoted to team leader), Summer and Jackie will return to the network more determined than ever, in July to begin work on Cake Wars; the ladies learned the executive producer and producer were both baking assistants a year ago.

The airdates have not been determined and will be published when available.