"Get Ready to Be Blown Away" — Valerie Bertinelli Speaks Out About Kids Baking Championship

Find out what mentor and judge Valerie Bertinelli had to say in our interview with her about Kids Baking Championship, the competition's challenges, the kids, her co-host Duff and the right age to get kids in the kitchen.

Photo by: Eddy Chen ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Eddy Chen, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

When it comes to watching the young bakers on Kids Baking Championship, premiering on Monday, Feb. 2 at 8|7c, "get ready to be blown away," says Valerie Bertinelli, who along with Duff Goldman serves as host, mentor and judge to the eight kids competing on the new series. In each episode the kids face baking challenges geared at testing their skill and creativity, with an elimination at the end. Despite having to break the bad news to a child every episode, Valerie found the kids were tougher than she thought. "I was just incredibly impressed with them," she said.

Read on to find out more of what Valerie had to say in our interview with her about the show, its challenges, the kids, her co-host Duff and the right age to get kids in the kitchen.

FN Dish: What can viewers expect from watching the competition? How would you sum it up?

Valerie Bertinelli: Get ready to be blown away by children that can definitely bake better than you!

What was it like for you mentoring/judging the kids on the show?

VB: I felt like I was not a mentor at all. They were definitely mentoring me and teaching me things I didn't l know before. Judging them was very challenging, because they were all so good and they tried so hard and I always like to give an A for effort, so they all got A’s for that. I was just incredibly impressed with them.

Do you have any advice for the kids competing?

VB: To breathe, take your time in the beginning, because the clock sometimes is not your friend. … Make sure you're all set up, and then go for it and book it. Time management was a really challenging thing. It's a challenging thing for me when I'm home cooking. So that probably is the best advice that I can give them, to really manage your time well.

What do you think was the most-difficult episode, either for the kids or for you to judge?

VB: The hardest one was the very first episode. I think they [the kids] all had to do three [baked items] each. Couldn't they [the producers] have waited until there were three kids left to do so many for each one? The amount of food that we had to taste-test was a little daunting.

What was it like having to eliminate a kid?

VB: Horrible! It was awful. They were all so sweet and they all tried so hard, but what I loved about it, too, is that the way the world works is not everybody can win. So you do your best, you try your best, you give it your all, and if you still don't make it, it's OK. You can try harder next time and for anything else. And, if anything, take the criticism and the comments just to help to make yourself better next time.

How was it working with Duff?

VB: I love Duff. I just love him. We tease each other all through the year during football season, because he happens to be a fan of a team I'm not a fan of. So we have fun.

What was the best part for you about filming the series?

VB: Eating all the delicious food.

Is there an age where you think it's good to get kids involved in the kitchen?

VB: I think any age. It depends on the child. Ludo Lefebvre is a friend of mine. And his two little twins, they're 4, and they're already in the kitchen cooking. So I think it depends on the child and what they're able to do. And these kids on Kids Baking Championship, boy, they proved that you can really do it. They're better than I could ever hope to be.

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