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WV chef still in ‘Cake Wars’ after four episodes

Photo submitted to The Journal A screen shot taken of Steve Weiss while competing on the Food Network Channel’s “Cake Wars: Christmas” competition episode Monday night.
Photo submitted to The Journal
A screen shot taken of Steve Weiss while competing on the Food Network Channel’s “Cake Wars: Christmas” competition episode Monday night.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Local chef Steve Weiss will continue on the Food Network Channel’s “Cake Wars: Christmas” competition.

Weiss, the culinary arts program coordinator and instructor at Blue Ridge Technical and Community College, will continue to compete for a $50,000 grand prize after he and fellow bakers survived Monday night’s episode.

Weiss has now survived four episodes of the competition and there are only two left that stands between him and victory.

He has been competing in cooking challenges for 15 years, but this is his first-ever Christmas-themed competition and Weiss said he is enjoying it.

Weiss said he is known for his sugar work.

“The judges have highlighted my sugar work in almost every competition we have done, they seem to like and notice my work every time,” Weiss said.

He’s part of the Mistletoes of Mayhem team, which most recently won the “stocking stuffer” challenge on this week’s episode. The challenge was to show Santa in space.

Weiss and his team decided to show Santa on the moon delivering gifts to alien children.

“Our idea came about because we really wanted to tell a story and I think that’s what the judges liked the most about it,” Weiss said.

“Our competitor’s ideas were very singular, so I believe that ours stood out,” he added.

Weiss and his team created a moon surface out of butter and showed Santa with an astronaut helmet.

Weiss said his team really stepped outside of the box.

“Our sculptor had never worked with butter before. That’s what he used to create the moon surface and then he air-brushed it to create more texture. It turned out really great and it was something he had never done before,” Weiss said.

Weiss was responsible for making the clear bubble out of sugar that was used as Santa’s helmet. The judges raved about it and gave him praise for a job well done.

For the second challenge on the episode, the teams had to bring Christmas songs to life. The Mistletoes of Mayhem were given the song, “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.”

Weiss said this challenge was difficult. “It was hard because most of us didn’t even know the song,” Weiss said.

His team created a mantle with a clock above a fireplace, showing a big bag of toys on floor, with a shadow of Santa on the walls.

The judges loved the sugar work angels that Weiss made as placed on the mantle as well as the chocolate clock that was placed on top too. But, the judges said the team lacked to show all the toys mentioned in the song as well as Santa himself, instead of using his shadow.

“I think we did well considering we only had four hours. And again, they really liked the detail of my sugar work, it’s hard to see all the detail when it’s shown on television,” Weiss said.

Ultimately, The Mistletoes of Mayhem survived the last round of cuts and will continue on to next week’s competition, leaving only three teams left to compete for the grand prize.

The winner will be announced on the last episode which will air Dec. 14.

Staff writer Katiann Marshall can be reached at 304-263-8931, ext. 182, or at Twitter.com/KmarshallJN.

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