Former Davis resident Dawn Nemec (known to Davis friends as Dede Lott) will be on the Food Network starting Sunday, helping her boss Marina Sousa create fanciful cakes for a $100,000 prize.
“Challenge: The Last Cake Standing” is an “eliminating, ‘Top Chef’-style show,” Nemec said.
Each week, the contestants made themed cakes that ranged from monsters to Marvel comics.
The sky was the limit for these themes. One week, the contestants participated in a cake talent show where each cake had to perform a “talent.”
“It was like Miss America. These cakes moved, talked and sang,” Nemec said.
Later on, there was a similar theme of doing a cake magic show.
Though Nemec is not allowed to disclose any details regarding the results, “I’m really excited,” she said.
Nemec has been working for Sousa at Just Cake, a bakery in Capitola, for five years.
Nemec first became interested in baking when she was in high school, she said. The interest continued through college, and she began working at bakeries 13 years ago.
“I’m a self-taught baker,” Nemec said. “I didn’t go to pastry school or anything. I learned through working.”
“Last Cake Standing” is not the first Food Network Challenge Nemec has worked on with Sousa. She’s also worked on shows like “Miley Cyrus’ Sweet 16 Cakes,” which she won with Sousa for a $10,000 prize, and “Surprise Engagement,” in which they were runners-up.
The shows are “confidence-building,” Nemec said. “In a bakery, you’re confined by the budget of the customer. But in these shows, you get to really stretch yourself, pushing to do the best work you can.”
“I’ve definitely learned some things I’d never tried to do before,” Nemec said.
The show airs today at 7 p.m. on the Food Network, Channel 60 on the Comcast system.