Page 30 - Pastry & Baking Magazine

Having been tipped off early there was far more behind the
condescending affectation of Kerry’s character, we sat down
with the “the dominatrix of decorating” to see for ourselves.
Pastry & Baking NA: Known best for your work on
Food
Network’s Challenge
series, how did you land that gig?
KerryVincent:
Accidently. I hosted four annual Food Network
specials about the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show. After the
first, High Noon Entertainment producer Michelle Bills
returned to the production company and suggested that I be
considered as a judge for Food Network Challenge, which
unbeknown to me was in planning. After seeing my personal
footage, the approach was made and I have been judging there
ever since. Now that has expanded
to Last Cake Standing Seasons 1
& 2
and even more fun, The Best
Thing I Ever Ate. It’s been an
amazing experience and if it all
ended tomorrow I would always
be grateful for the incredible
magic carpet ride. Vive la
Challenge!
Are you sick of the whole
perception that you’re the“mean
judge”? Do you thinkAmerican’s
are too thinned skin and can’t
process constructive critique?
I really don’t dwell on the mean
judge perception. I am very
straightforward, honest about my
opinions and I do have the guts
to say what needs to be said;
constructive criticism should be
welcomed. If the same mistake is
repeated after I have said something previously then
contestants beware! I do think people are gentler with each
other in America. Australians are brutally outspoken, have
you ever watched our parliament in action? I am always
accountable to contestants making myself available after the
taping is over, if they have questions or need clarification. I
am the only judge to consistently do that.
28
Pastry & Baking
North America
Cake Designer in Focus
By Campbell Ross Walker
Photos courtesy of Kerry Vincent & Hawks Photography
I
n the world of hard core “Reality” television, creative
editing is the cornerstone upon which fabricated drama
can be created. Comprised of purpose driven
questioning, ridiculous reaction shots, inappropriate sound
effects, and out of context video cuts, the post production efforts
need to validate the producer’s skills at selecting participants
and creating settings/challenges to encourage particular behaviors
and conflicts. Thank goodness, Food TV does not go to these
depths.
However, one similarity Food TV has with Reality is the
constant satisfaction of the American appetite for the villainous
character; the one who injects the drama, controversy, and
conflict that makes reality television worth watching.
In the case of the highly
successful Food Network
Challenge series, that person is
Kerry Vincent. Kerry is the
quintessential antagonist to the
show’s hero contestants. She is
the judge who dishes the harsh
critiques, asks the tough
questions, and makes the
contestants quake and fall to
pieces. During the eight hours of
competition, contestants cringe
at the sight of Kerry who is not
shy about sharing her thoughts
on their work and all too often,
their shortcomings. With this
friction captured on camera,
edited, and presented to the
viewer at home with the intent
of highlighting an undercurrent
of tension, Kerry Vincent is now
the judge America loves to hate.
It certainly makes better TV to have such a character – the
ratings don’t lie. And, there are times when Kerry’s bluntness
and eye rolling validate her generalized perception as the “Simon
Cowell of cake” but if you judge Kerry Vincent based upon her
TV persona, then you are looking at her cover without taking
into consideration the vast volume of work and dedication that
lies beneath in the pages of her extraordinary life.
Not Kerry Vincent’s Reality
Queen of Mean?
Kerry Vincent