Taking the Oven Mitts Off: Duff and Lorraine Face Off in the New Series Worst Bakers in America
Duff Goldman and Lorraine Pascale have teamed up to coach teams of terrible bakers in the new series Worst Bakers in America, premiering Sunday at 10|9c. Even though the two are longtime friends and colleagues, appearing together as judges on Spring Baking Championship and Holiday Baking Championship, when it comes to a competition, they're in it to win it no matter the cost. Lorraine will coach the Red Team, and Duff the Blue Team. Every week the baking challenges will get harder and harder, until only one member is left on each team to bake in a bakery-themed final battle for a chance to win $25,000. And for his or her mentor, there will be infinite bragging rights.
FN Dish caught up with both mentors on the set of the show to chat about the competition and find out who thinks he or she can win. And these two weren't afraid to talk a bit of smack.
How difficult is it to teach baking, versus cooking?
Lorraine: It’s much harder to teach baking, versus cooking, because baking is a science. It’s not about freestyling all over the place. If you freestyle and go away from the recipe, it’s not going to work.
Duff: No offense, cooks, but it is a lot easier to teach someone how to make a stir-fry than it is to [teach them] how to make a cupcake. … Just a lot more skills go into making some cupcakes than making a stir-fry.
Duff: I would describe my teaching style as empirical … . I like people to kind of figure things out on their own, because I feel like you can give people information, you can spell it out, you can write it down, you can frame it, you can do all kinds of things to it, but nobody's going to learn until they actually stick their hands in that flour and do it.
Lorraine: I would describe my teaching style as harsh but fair.
Where do you start teaching these recruits about baking?
Duff: Step one in learning how to bake is learning how to think and … learning how to wrap your head around a problem. ... The thing about baking is that it's not that hard. It's not some sort of archaic knowledge that only a few initiates have. It's just that you need to think about baking and you need to think about baking in a way that's just clear and organized and logical.
Lorraine: I start teaching these recruits about baking with the basics. It’s all about the basics and then building on that. If you know the basics, you’re halfway there. The basics are things like buttercreams, sponges, brownies, pie doughs, decoration, those kind of things. Once you’ve got those, you can link it all together and become a brilliant baker.
What's your strategy for winning this competition?
Lorraine: My strategy for winning this competition is to be a great teacher, to tell them everything they need to know about everything they’re baking and to make sure that they do it.
Duff: I'm going to teach these guys how to be organized, teach them how to think, teach them how to clean, teach them how to be good bakers.
Duff: Of course there is. Yeah, there's hope. There's hope for these guys. Some of them. One or two. Yeah, no … I mean, look, these guys can learn how to bake. If I can learn how to bake, you know, I think these guys can learn how to bake.
Lorraine: I think there’s hope for these worst bakers. You know why? Because I’m going to help them.
Do you have any nice words or any smack talk for your fellow judge?
Duff: Lorraine, you know I love you, you know I do, but you're going to lose. Sorry. I'm just too good at this stuff. … Little Miss Lorraine Pascale, you are way too perfect, and I don't think that you know how to deal with a mistake as well as me. I make mistakes all the time, and because I make mistakes all the time, I know how to fix them. And then you're going to say, "Oh, well, I just don't make mistakes." Well, you may not make mistakes, but the Red Team is certainly going to make some mistakes, and you need to teach those guys how to work with them. All I know is, I got this in the bag. Lorraine, you're going down.
Tune in to Worst Bakers in America on Sunday at 10|9c.