MYRTLE • Though she’s never worked with fondant and her only real baking experience comes from watching others do it and enjoying sweets made by her mother and sister, Emily Cook found herself saying, “I can do that,” while streaming a baking competition show in 2018.
She was watching season one of Netflix’s “Nailed It!,” a show where three contestants with novice baking skills try their hand at remaking exquisite, professional pastries.
Her sister, who was watching alongside her, took note of her confidence. And pretty soon she mustered up an email contact for Emily to reach out to about being on the show.
An email back from the representative with the show began the interview process in March of 2018.
“We spoke on the phone, video chatted and I even had to send videos of myself cooking,” Cook said of the interview process.
Filming for the episode started in June and lasted three days. And while it was a “surreal” experience for Cook, meeting the show’s co-host Nicole Byer stood out.
“I’ve seen her on other shows,” Cook explained. “It was cool and weird at the same time to meet her and get to talk to her.”
The first and third days of filming were dedicated to interviews, while the competition occurred on day two.
Despite being confident in her capabilities while viewing season one, Cook felt some nerves after meeting her two competitors.
“I was nervous when I saw who I was going against. They’re both grandmothers and have much more experience,” Cook noted. “I was even more nervous at the challenges presented to us.”
Phobias provided the theme in both rounds, with Cook recreating wasp cookies for her first act and closing it out with a clown cake.
She was worried about her cookies being crispy in round one, and then her execution with so many unfamiliar baking ingredients/tools in round two, but her worries were quelled once the judges – Jacques Torres and Byer – named her the winner.
“I learned a lot from the experience, and from my talks with the judges,” Cook said.
“A lot of people are asking me ‘what’s next’ or if I’ll start a bakery. I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.”