Meet the Competitors of Spring Baking Championship, Season 2

Get to know the eight bakers competing for a chance to win the $50,000 prize and the title of Spring Baking Champion.

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Emile Wamsteker ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Audrey McGinnis — Frisco, Texas

Before devoting her time to her baking business, Audrey worked as an investor-relations specialist for seven years. She originally baked only for kids' birthdays, but when people started requesting her cakes, she decided it was time for a career switch. She may not have a culinary degree or a lot of professional experience, but Audrey feels she's got as much of a competitive edge as the longtime pros.

Dan Langan — Havertown, Pa.

A completely self-taught baker, Dan started his own baking business, Baked by Dan, in his home. Specializing in 3-D cakes and fondant work, he can create unique confections better than many formally trained bakers can. When he's not in the kitchen, he's in the gym helping people get fit. He may not be a professionally trained baker, but Dan is a professional trainer who knows a thing or two about competition.

Dustin Charbonneau — Chicago

As the story goes, Dustin got into baking to impress a female pastry chef. Although nothing much came of it, Dustin did find his career path and one true love — pastry. Dustin thrives in the Zen-like kitchen of Moto, where he's the executive pastry chef, putting out dessert masterpieces that push the envelope, as is expected from a Michelin-starred restaurant. Dustin's bringing that same flair to the championship.

Jane Soudah — South Pasadena, Calif.

Into baking since she was a child, Jane wanted to go to culinary school, but her parents encouraged her to go to college instead. There Jane studied food science and safety. But two years ago, she had a turning point and started a small baking company. Then, a chance encounter with the chef of The Eveleigh resulted in a job offer to be the restaurant's pastry chef. Jane believes her lucky streak will continue in the competition.

Kenny Magana — Reading, Pa.

Even though he already was working in a restaurant, Kenny didn't really find his life's direction until a friend took him to culinary school. There Kenny immediately found his passion for pastry. Eventually he found a position at Spago in Chicago, and ended up working for Wolfgang Puck for 13 years. Recently Kenny switched to research and development for a dessert manufacturer. With the competition, he's excited to get back into baking.

Najie Mercedes — Miami

From baking with her grandmother as a child, Najie developed such a love for desserts that she started a baking business in high school. Eventually, Najie enrolled in culinary school. She loves to take risks by using unique flavor combinations. And although her career is still young, Najie thinks she has the sass to succeed.

Susana Mijares — San Antonio

Originally from Mexico, Susana has worked and lived all over the world. In Paris she attended Le Cordon Bleu. Back in Mexico, she and her husband purchased a chocolate shop, Délice Chocolatier and Patisserie, and opened a second location in San Antonio. It's this multinational mix that Susana features in her creations. Running two bakeries goes to show what Susana can tackle.

William Poole — New Ipswich, N.H.

Growing up on a farm in Omaha, William learned to bake by watching his grandpa in the kitchen. William's a true adventurer: He's worked all over the U.S., and as a chef on the Orient Express and in Slovenia. He and his husband ran a bed-and-breakfast in New Orleans before selling it and moving to New Hampshire, where they plan to open a new one. William has the experience to handle any challenges.

More Spring Baking Championship

Go behind the scenes of the series with photo galleries, video highlights and extras with the judges.

Spring Baking Championship

Next Up