Michelle Bommarito, of Ferndale, MI keeps busy as the president and founder of her nationally acclaimed pastry and cake design business, Michelle Bommarito LLC. While she holds degrees in marketing and psychology, Michelle decided to switch career goals after taking a two-week bread-making class and relocated to New York in hopes of becoming a chef. A seasoned Food Network Challenge alum, Michelle’s passion for competition and creating magical wedding cakes has helped her during seven Challenge competitions.
Courtney, of Ann Arbor, Mich., owns and works as head pastry chef at Cake Nouveau. After beginning her career as a fine artist, Courtney experimented with edible art and developed an interest in pastry. Courtney studied at the French Pastry School with famed Pastry Chef Jacquy Pfieffer and received the "L'Art de la Patisserie" certificate for mastering French pastry techniques. Now able to combine both of her talents, Courtney's true enthusiasm for pastry and fine arts shine through her work. Courtney has competed in four Food Network Challenge competitions.
WINNER!: Mary Maher
Mary, of Chicago, Ill., co-owns Cakegirls, a wedding and specialty cake shop with her sister Brenda. While studying French in college, Mary worked at a local bakery where she quickly became manager and head decorator. With 15 years in the cake business under their belts, Mary and Brenda’s vast experience has helped them to maintain an undefeated record on Food Network Challenge with three wins.
James, of Los Angeles, Calif., owns Elle Cakes and is an undefeated Food Network Challenge alum with a passion for cake and buttercream. After graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts, James was offered a full-time position with famed cake designer Ron Ben-Israel. James' artistry and technique derive from his emphasis on detail and he pulls inspiration from art, fashion and nature. He has worked with notable pastry chef Gale Gand and taught European sugar design at the Ewald Notter School of Pastry Arts. James has competed in three Challenge competitions.
Elisa, of New York, N.Y., owns Confetti Cakes, a custom cake shop specializing in hand-sculpted cakes and classes. Elisa initially pursued a career in fashion design. While working for Polo Ralph Lauren, Elisa was asked to design a special birthday cake for the designer which eventually led her to take her talent into the kitchen full time. Elisa graduated from Vassar College with a degree in art and The Institute of Culinary Education from which she is a pastry graduate. She is the author of two cookbooks and has appeared on several Food Network shows, including three episodes of Food Network Challenge.
Bronwen, of Dallas, Texas, is widely known as one of the nation's top pastry chefs and calls Frosted Art Bakery her second home. Bronwen's cake designs and living-out-loud approach to sugar and spice have been published in several distinguished magazines. The winner of countless prizes in numerous competitions, she attributes her initial culinary education to her grandmother. Bronwen has competed in 11 Food Network Challenges, more than any chef in Challenge history!