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TV Show 'Cake Boss' Puts Spotlight On Baker In Hudson Valley

Amarachi Onwumelu and her cousin Ifey Okeya will bake up a storm on an upcoming TV cooking competition. Photo Credit: Amarachi Onwumelu
Amarachi Onwumelu Photo Credit: Amarachi Onwumelu

It might have taken a couple of years to make it to the spotlight, but a 24-year-old area resident and baker will be able to watch herself on TV, along with her cousin, bake up a storm on  "Bake it Like Buddy."

A "Cake Boss" fan since she was a child, Rockland County's own Amarachi Onwumelu couldn't believe it when months after applying to be on the show back in 2017, she received a call in 2018 from a producer of the show asking if she was still interested.

"It is still so surreal," Onwumelu said with a laugh from her home in Pomona. "I can remember baking with my mother as a little kid and pretending I was on a TV show and now I am."

The show, which airs at 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2 on the Discovery Family channel, is the brainchild of Cake Boss Buddy Valastro who even recruits members of his own family, as well as from his staff at Carlo's Bakery to take part in the fun.

After getting the call to be on the show, Onwumelu, who attended Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, had to come up with a family member to cook with and the first one that came to her mind was her cousin Ifey Okeya of Long Island.

"She is in culinary school and loves to bake as much as I do," Onwumelu said. "She was so excited and really helped make it happen."

The cousins, who are total opposites, with Okeya very structured and detail-oriented and Onwumelu the laid back one, ended up being perfect foils for each other's style.

"She likes to have a strict plan and stick to it," Onwumelu said. "But, if we ran into a problem I'm like 'oh, well,' let's just move on."

The theme of the show, of course, was a sports-style cake (being Super Bowl weekend ) with a flavor you would find in a concession stand. They had four hours to pull off two cakes. The winner takes home $1,000, bragging rights and a ton of baking gear.

Their competitors were another pair of cousins from New Hampshire.

The two came up the idea to make a churro-flavored cake with a Mexican hot chocolate frosting and a chocolate cake with a peanut butter frosting.

"Those are things you always find in concession stands, peanuts, chocolate, and churros," she said. 

The hardest part was the actual design part, not putting together an amazing tasting cake. 

"Neither one of us had ever really done that but we pulled it off," she laughed. 

The best part of the whole experience was when "Buddy" said he loved, loved the taste and how moist our cakes were. 

"It was so amazing and made us so proud. I just couldn't believe when he said that," she added. "He is so nice and is just like he is on TV in real life." 

Win or lose, of course, we can't tell now, Onwumelu wants to be on another show and would love to work in the business even if it's behind the scene such as a producer, runner, or anything, she said. 

Right now, she is baking up a different kind of goodie for the body and face with home beauty business NaijaButters.com, that, of course, offers all kinds of skin care and beauty butter. 

"My entire family is so excited to see the show," she said. "I can't wait either. It was the experience of a lifetime and just so much fun."

For more information on the show, click here. 

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