Baker Spotlight: Drew Rogers, Owner of Drew's Pastry Place & Star on TLC's Bakery Boss

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Photo by Molly Dunn
Drew Rogers became a pastry chef at the age of 40 and established Drew's Pastry Place.
If you have ever searched for authentic Italian pastries and desserts in Houston, you've probably been sorely disappointed. Although the Bayou City is home to many bakeries that make cupcakes, cakes, cookies and other American sweet shops, it is seriously in need of establishments dedicated to creating cannoli, tiramisu, pignoli, rainbow cookies and other Italian specialties.

After making a midlife career change to become a pastry chef, Drew Rogers set his sights on opening his own shop, with a goal of making the classic Italian pastries he grew up eating in New Jersey. But, the process of establishing Drew's Pastry Place has not been the one Rogers imagined.

"I went to work for Houston Country Club after [culinary school]," Rogers says. "The week I graduated I got a job offer at Houston Country Club -- which was great -- under a Master Chef, and his name was Chef Fritze Gitschner. And at the time were only 58 or 59 Master Chefs in the world and he was ranked in the top ten. So, for me to work under him my first gig out of school was incredible and I learned a whole lot from him. I was there for three-and-a-half years."

Rogers' parents knew that he wanted to open his own bakery, so they offered to assist him in creating, designing and opening Drew's Pastry Place in Vintage Park, a true family business. Rogers decided to audition for Next Great Baker on TLC, but was not selected as a finalist -- he was a runner-up. However, this misfortune might have been a blessing in disguise.

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UPDATE: SPIKE TV's Frankenfood Casting Call Comes to Houston: Cook Up Something Weird and Win

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Photo courtesy of SHARP Entertainment
The sky is the limit in this crazy food creation competition.

Update: The casting call date for Houston has been moved to January 12.
Do you love to cook strange dishes with uncommon ingredients? Or do you love to think out of the box when creating new recipes? Well, SPIKE TV's new show Frankenfood is for you, and on Sunday, December 15, Sunday, January 12, the network is holding an open casting call in Houston.

Everyone from chefs to average Joes and Janes is invited to Sharespace on the 15th January 12, beginning at 10 a.m. to present their crazy culinary creations to two judges and hosts -- New York City chef Josh Capon and actor/restaurateur Tony Luke Jr.

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Top Five Reasons Kids' Cooking Shows Are Awesome

Categories: Kids, TV, Top Five

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Photo from MasterChef Junior Facebook
These kids know how to cook; let them inspire your children to get in the kitchen.
When I was a little kid, I never wanted to go into the kitchen and help my mom make dinner. Sure, I would do the dishes and clean up the kitchen afterward, but there was no way I was going to stop watching what my father calls "squeaky voice television" to chop vegetables. I saw it as work, not pleasure.

It wasn't until I finally stepped into the kitchen and helped my mom make dinner that I realized just how much fun cooking can actually be.

If you have children and want them to learn how to cook but can't get them interested, turn on the recently aired MasterChef Junior show on FOX, where kids ages 8-13 are showing off their cooking skills in challenges similar to the original adult format.

Here are five reasons why kids' cooking shows rock and why children need to watch them.

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The Breaking Bad Series Finale Is Upon Us; Comfort Yourself With Homemade Blue Rock Candy

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AMC
Say farewell to Walter White and Jesse Pinkman by making your own blue candy.

It's the end of an era. A really messed up era, in which a down-on-his luck, cancer-ridden chemistry teacher turned hardcore crystal meth producer has simultaneously stolen and broken our hearts. This Sunday marks the death of Breaking Bad.

We'll miss Walt and Jesse dearly (but not Skyler ... never Skyler), so we thought, what better way to honor our favorite cooks than by making our very own qualityCrystal Meth Rock Candy? We suggest that you serve it at your viewing party.

Here's how to create the perfect batch:


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James Nelson Talks MasterChef and Future of Bravado Spice Co.

Categories: News, TV

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Photo courtesy of Fox
James Nelson made it to the top five on MasterChef season 4.
James Nelson's run on FOX's MasterChef is over, but this top 5 finalist's cooking career isn't. The chef and co-owner of Bravado Spice Co. in Houston spoke with Eating Our Words to talk about his experience on the show and his future culinary endeavors.

In the final episode Nelson competed on, he started off with a bang by winning the mystery box challenge, where the judges' children filled a box for the contestants with the most random ingredients. You can only imagine what young boys would choose from the MasterChef pantry.

Nelson steered away from desserts the majority of the time in the MasterChef kitchen, but ironically, during this challenge he made a dessert and was selected the winner. Unfortunately, another dessert was his demise in the pressure test challenge where his panna cotta, despite being full of flavor, according to the judges, did not firm up like a true panna cotta.

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The Gang's Back: 5 Foods to Serve at Your It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Premiere Party

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It's the new Wine Wednesday.
You guys, it's finally here. Season 9 of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia begins this Wednesday on FXX.

If you're not a fan, you should be. Rumor has it that even the Game of Thrones creators are down with the gang, as David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have co-written an episode. This is like TV Inception; consider our minds blown.

We don't know about you, but we've got our wine in hand (in a can, of course) ready for the premiere. And we've come up with a few other Sunny treats to go along with it.

Here are 5 Foods for Your Always Sunny Viewing Pleasure:

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12 Houston Chefs with Celebrity Doppelgangers: Restaurant Weeks Edition

It's Doppelganger time! See which Houston local chef tried to steal a kiss from Natalie Portman and who plays for the MLB in his spare time.

And don't forget to support Houston Restaurant Week by visiting the chef's restaurants all month long (special bonus: if you sneak into the kitchen without getting arrested, you can compare the lookalikes in person).

See also:
- 13 Houston Chefs Who Have Celebrity Doppelgangers
- 12 Celebrity Chefs Who Have Cartoon Doppelgangers
- 13 Celebrity Chef Doppelgangers

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Photo by Mai Pham
12. Jeff Axline vs. Vincent Cassel

This newest executive banquet chef at Hotel Zaza chef looks eerily familiar. Did we see him backstage at Swan Lake...or was it heisting a jeweled Fabergé egg opposite Brad Pitt? Wait, maybe it was at Brooklyn Athletic Club. We can't remember.

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Photo by Mai Pham
11. Brandi Key vs. Natalie Maines

Executive chef of Coppa and 1/3 of the country trio the Dixie Chicks. For a taste of Key's delicate Italian dishes, we are ready to make nice.


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The Non-Pressure Test: Make Chocolate Éclairs Like a MasterChef

Categories: Recipes, Sweets, TV

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Photo by jeffreyw
MasterChef is back (and with another Houstonian in the mix -- Team James)!

We've been loving the season so far, especially the pressure tests. But with a pissed-off Ramsay, daunting time restraints and cameras right in the contestants' faces waiting for them to break down in an ugly cry in front of the judges and all of America, it's no wonder these contestants succumb to the pressure.

Luckily, we don't have to. Making "stunning" versions of the challenges at home is actually not intimidating at all.

Throw out terms like pâte à choux and crème pâtissière and you'll usually find me running for the hills. Last week, the MasterChef contestants were tasked with making just that: the chocolate éclair. Sure, the fancy French dessert sounds intimidating, but with the right steps, you'll be able to master this rich custard-filled pastry in no time.

Here's how to make it:

See also:
-The Non-Pressure Test: Make Lava Cake Like a MasterChef
-The Non-Pressure Test: Make Eggs Like AMasterchef Part I
-The Non-Pressure Test: Make Eggs Like A Masterchef Part II
-The Non-Pressure Test: Make Hollandaise & Eggs Benedict Like a Masterchef
-The Non-Pressure Test: Make The Perfect Pie Crust & Lemon Meringue Like a Masterchef


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The Non-Pressure Test: Make The Perfect Pie Crust & Lemon Meringue Like a Masterchef

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Photo by cyclonebill
Masterchef is back (and with another Houstonian in the mix)!

We've been loving the season so far, especially the pressure tests. But with a pissed-off Ramsay, daunting time restraints and cameras right in the contestants' faces waiting for them to break down in an ugly cry in front of the judges and all of America, it's no wonder these contestants succumb to the pressure.

Luckily, we don't have to. Making "stunning" versions of the challenges at home is actually not intimidating at all.

Last week, the contestants tackled a dessert classic: Lemon Meringue Pie. Perfecting the buttery, flaky shortbread crust, light and tart lemon curd filling, and fluffy, slightly crisp meringue topping can seem impossible. But no worries! With the right technique and a few tricks, you'll be mastering this triple threat in no time.

Here's how to make it:

See also:
-The Non-Pressure Test: Make Lava Cake Like a MasterChef
-The Non-Pressure Test: Make Eggs Like A Masterchef Part I
-The Non-Pressure Test: Make Eggs Like A Masterchef Part II
-The Non-Pressure Test: Make Hollandaise & Eggs Benedict Like a MasterChef

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The Non-Pressure Test: Make Hollandaise & Eggs Benedict Like a MasterChef

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Photo by Jon Mountjoy
Masterchef is back (and with another Houstonian in the mix)!

We've been loving the season so far, especially the pressure tests. But with a pissed-off Ramsay, daunting time restraints and cameras right in the contestants' faces waiting for them to break down in an ugly cry in front of the judges and all of America, it's no wonder these contestants succumb to the pressure.

Luckily, we don't have to. Making "stunning" versions of the challenges at home is actually not intimidating at all.

Last week, the contestants tackled a brunch staple: Eggs Benedict. The show may make it seem impossible, but with the right timing and a few simple steps, the hollandaise-drizzled dish is incredibly easy...and incredibly delicious.

Here's how to make it:

See also:
-The Non-Pressure Test: Make Lava Cake Like a MasterChef
-The Non-Pressure Test: Make Eggs Like A Masterchef Part I
-The Non-Pressure Test: Make Eggs Like A Masterchef Part II


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