Photos courtesy of SoDel Concepts
Dru Tevis, the corporate pastry chef at SoDel Concepts, is a contestant on this year’s Holiday Baking Championship.
A Delaware pastry chef is seeing sweet success on the Food Network.
Dru Tevis, SoDel Concepts’ corporate pastry chef, is currently competing on Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship. The competition series airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. wrapping up with the finale on Dec. 19.
Each episode includes two rounds of holiday-focused challenges. Contestants’ creations are judged by a panel including Duff Goldman, Charm City Cakes owner; Nancy Fuller, Ginsberg’s Foods owner; and Carla Hall from Top Chef. Television personality Jesse Palmer is the host.
The series winner walks away with a $25,000 prize.
Tevis originally auditioned for the show in 2015, but didn’t make the cast. This time, he says it was “the right place at the right time.”
“It was really a surreal feeling,” he says.
Tevis, who oversees the dessert program for SoDel Concepts and Thompson Island Brewery Company, says his biggest challenge was elaborate decoration since his background is in restaurant pastry and not working in a traditional bakery. But, his restaurant repertoire helped him succeed especially with a tiramisu-inspired dessert in episode two.
He took the classic dessert made at SoDel’s Lupo Italian Kitchen to meet the challenge and win it.
“I was able to take that recipe and…make it gingerbread flavored but it was still the tiramisu layer cake,” he says.
Tevis, who has made it through each episode to date, says the experience was challenging but rewarding and his castmates are now friends for life.
“The best part of this experience was making 11 amazing friends that I’ll be in touch with forever,” Tevis says. “Everybody was really great even though we were in competition and fighting against each other to win, everybody was so supportive. Everybody was helpful. Everybody was nice. We got along so well.”
If Tevis is the winner of the championship, he says the prize money will go toward renovating the home he and his husband recently bought.
Tevis says the support he’s felt from Delaware and his home of Rehoboth Beach has been amazing. He hopes that his appearance on a national television show along with other Delaware chefs’ making headlines and television appearances will make people realize the state’s growing food scene.
“I did this for myself, but I did it for SoDel and I did it for Delaware,” he says. “I really hope that I’m helping to make people all around the country think, ‘Oh, maybe I should go to Delaware. Looks like there’s some stuff going on there.’”
Follow Dru Tevis on Instagram to fill your feed with tasty treats.