Everyone loves a little friendly competition and when that competition ends with an array of edible works of art, well, that's even better. On June 29th at 8:00pm ET/PT, the games will indeed begin on the Food Network's new show Cake Wars where four bakers will compete for $10,000 and the chance to have their cake take center stage at a special event. We talked to the hilarious host of Cake Wars, Jonathan Bennett, before the big premiere to hear about his gig, inquire on his calorie intake during filming, and we couldn't pass up the chance to drill him on his past appearance on Dancing with the Stars.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): OK I've asked a few people if they'd ever be on Dancing with the Stars because, sequins. But you were actually on it! Do tell.
Jonathan Bennett: All I wore was sequins. I was just one giant sequin out there! [Laughs.] I got in involved with it because I lost both of my parents and they were such big fans of the show. I was sort of in a rut so I wanted to go and do something to honor them. When the opportunity came to do the show, I jumped at the chance. I mean, who doesn't want to go do Dancing with the Stars and feel alive again? But let me tell you, when you are on that show, it's all about spray tans and sequins. That is the most important thing!
I'd be terrified to be on that show but everyone seems to be having so much fun!
Yeah, people hate to love that show but when they start watching it, they become obsessed with it. People rip on it like, "everyone has so much spray tan on" but they only know that because they're watching!
Oh for sure! And you won "fan favorite" too which I think is better than winning the whole thing. Wait, I take that back. It'd probably be the best to win both.
I mean, I'm glad Alfonso could do it because come week six, you're ready to go. You're ready! [Laughs.] That's the way I got voted off. I was like, I'm good! I don't need to do it anymore. [Laughs.]
After week one I'd be exhausted. So on to your new show Cake Wars. Are you a secret baker or is it just a spectator sport for you?
I'm not a very good baker at all and I don't really know that much about baking but, I've learned so much from season one that I feel like I'm a master baker now. But my job isn't to bake. I just go on the show to make people laugh and have a good time. I bring the party, they bring the cake.
That is indeed a sweet gig. Cornball pun intended. So at the end of the show the winner gets to take their cake to a "special event." How nerve-wracking is the transporting? The thought gives me anxiety.
Well that's part of the whole process. They not only have to make a cake that is extraordinary, they also have to make it transportable. So coming up with a structure, because these cakes are like twice the size of me, that is a lot. A lot of times they almost fall and when it happens, I definitely get super nervous.
Did you get to have any say in the flavors that were chosen for the contestants?
Nope. That was all the geniuses behind the show. The different flavors come from the different themes each week. So one week we might be doing a cake with a theme of The Sound of Music and they'll have to use something like a German inspired flavor in their cake. So we might say, you have to use the ingredient of pickles. And they have to put that in the cake. The most fun of getting to try the cake is that you would think a pickle cake tastes gross but when you eat it, it's actually delicious. These people do such a great job of coming up with insane out of this world recipes.
During the season was there any flavor that you were like, there is no chance in hell I am putting that past my lips?
Uh yeah, bratwurst. And it was actually my favorite cake. Bratwurst and horseradish. That seems like it'd be super gross and yet, it was super delicious.
I'll take your word for it. I assume you didn't eat as much as the judges did but I also have to assume that you snacked. Did you gain any weight during the taping?
I basically got to taste during commercial breaks. [Laughs.] I didn't gain weight really because the main cakes are used in pictures so we didn't taste those. That probably saved me from indulging in all of the cakes. Like, I would have eaten every single bit of every part of every cake. We only get one bite though so that saved me from gaining 900 pounds.
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How impressed where you with what you saw? What some bakers do is truly mind blowing.
You have never seen cakes like this before. If you thought Cupcake Wars was good, wait until you see Cake Wars. There's only so much you can do with a cupcake so now, the stakes have been raised. It's just insane what these bakers come up with. This will be everyone's favorite show. I was obsessed with it when we were shooting it because I couldn't wait to see what they'd come up with. I can't get enough of it and I'm on the damn thing!
Make sure you tune in to catch Cake Wars with Jonathan Bennett Monday at 8:00pm on Food Network. For more info on the show, go to www.FoodNetwork.com. For more on Jonathan, follow him on Instagram and on Twitter @J_Benntt.