This is a most wonderful time of the year, especially if you are a professor at North Shore Community College, and even more special if you get to teach others how to do their best baking and pastry creations when your appearing on the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship.
Douglas Phillips is NSCC’s representative in the championship along with host Jesse Palmer and judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman, and Lorraine Pascale.
There was no application per se, Phillips was chosen after photographs of his work were posted on Instagram and other social media accounts. Apparently, that’s one way the show finds contestants.
“I like to think that they sought me out,” Phillips joked. “Initially, I wasn’t going to respond to the telephone call because I had been called about a spring baking program previously. I never followed through with it. It really wasn’t my thing I had never competed before. Your reputation is kind of on the line. But my wife kept encouraging me and I went for it.”
Starting at North Shore Community College in January 2017 as the baking and pastry instructor, Phillips recently started a program there with a bakery and pastry certificate. Classes range from pastry techniques, artisan breads, and contemporary cakes. Phillips is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in baking and pastry arts management went on to apprentice for Francisco Migoya.
“I studied in the manager in training program with him,” Phillips said. “Francisco Migoya is head chef at Modernist Cuisine.
Phillips has his own passion for fine pastries, plated desserts, fine Parisian desserts like you might find in France. At home he enjoys baking for his wife Taylor and daughter Claire, 19 months.
Some day he’d like to open his own shop. Right now he’s working on his MBA at Fitchburg State University.
Phillips said he has holiday tips for baking:
“When you start playing with the classics it doesn’t always work, the classics are classic for a reason,” Phillips said. “Stay with tradition, use the rest of the year to experiment.”
- Keep it simple
- Stick with the things people like
- It’s really hard to go wrong with a pumpkin pie
Two of Phillips’ favorite baked goods – his aunt’s baklava and his mother’s sugar spritz cookies. Phillips also enjoys baking for his wife Taylor and his daughter Claire, 19 months
“It was great to be on the show and I got to meet a lot of great bakers,” Phillips said.
The Holiday Baking Championship airs on the Food Network Monday night at 9:00 p.m.