Meet the Competitors of Holiday Baking Championship, Season 8

Get to know the twelve bakers competing for a chance to win $25,000 and the title of Holiday Baking Champion.

Photo By: Rob Pryce

Photo By: Rob Pryce

Photo By: Rob Pryce

Photo By: Rob Pryce

Photo By: Rob Pryce

Photo By: Rob Pryce

Photo By: Rob Pryce

Photo By: Rob Pryce

Photo By: Rob Pryce

Photo By: Rob Pryce

Photo By: Rob Pryce

A Fresh Batch of Holiday Bakers

Learn more about the bakers and pastry chefs competing in the ultimate holiday baking competition.

Richard Akers-Barrows — Dorchester, MA

Richard is a pastry chef at the Ritz Carlton in Boston. He has been married for 16 years to his husband and enjoys baking for his daughter and grandson.

Sabrina Coombs — Atlanta

Sabrina is the executive pastry chef at a hotel in Atlanta. She wants to win the competition to make her family proud.

Philippe Costa — Seaside, CA

Philippe is a home baker who currently works for a popular grocery store. If he won the $25k, Philippe would put the money towards opening the bakery of his dreams.

Shayla Daniels — Odessa, FL

As a pastry chef and the owner of Chez Shay’s Sweets, Shayla says she loves the holidays because they remind her of her family. "Baking just makes my soul happy," says Shayla.

Neomie Eliezer — Cherry Hill, NJ

Neomie is the head pastry chef at a catering company in Philadelphia. She enjoys cooking doughnuts during the holidays because she celebrates Hanukkah with her family and, "doughnuts are Hanukkah."

Jennifer Hood — Winston-Salem, NC

While Jennifer is a dietician obsessed with "everything nutrition," she really loves cake! Jennifer started as a home baker and used to cook for friends and family. However, once COVID started, she wasn’t getting out much and decided to turn her home baking into a business.

Grace Lapsys — Albuquerque

Grace likes to say, "when it comes to chocolate... if you can dream it, I can make it." Grace grew up in the Philippines and is a French-trained chocolatier. She now works as a pastry chef in Albuquerque.

Jose Marchan — Cleveland

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jose gains his baking inspiration from some of his favorite traditional childhood treats.

Adam Monette — Saint Albans, VT

Adam is a culinary arts instructor who lives in Vermont with his wife and two young daughters. The holidays are always a special time in Adam’s family. In fact, his dad keeps the Christmas tree up year round because he loves it so much!

Naomi Mwangi — McKinney, TX

Naomi runs a bakery out of her home in McKinny, Texas and is a wife and proud mother of her three children. Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Naomi is especially excited to compete this season.

Jody O’Sullivan — Quincy, MA

Jody O’Sullivan is a pastry chef and instructor at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Originally from Ireland, Jody decided to move to Massachusetts to live closer to his wife's family. He wants to win the $25k prize to help fund his masters degree.

Marilyn Santos McNabb — Chicago

Marylin has been a pastry chef for over 30 years and wants to win the prize money to put towards her retirement. She enjoys decorating her plates like her garden with plenty of colors and garnishes.

More Holiday Baking Championship

Get more from the competition by going behind the scenes of the baking battles, learn more about the host and judges, and get some decorating ideas and how-tos.

Holiday Baking Championship