Meet the Competitors of Spring Baking Championship, Season 3

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Photo By: Patrick Wymore

Adam Young — Westerly, Rhode Island

Adam began his career with dreams of becoming a savory chef, but it wasn't until an apprenticeship in New Orleans that he fell in love with pastry; he now owns and runs his own bakery, Sift Bake Shop in Mystic, Connecticut. When coming up with his sweet creations, he finds inspiration in New England's seasonal produce and his childhood in Vermont. Adam finds time to volunteer with at-risk youth and mentors vocational students.

Signature Dishes: Vermont Creamery Brioche, Maple Syrup Mousse Beignet, Carrot Roulade, Pumpkin Cinnamon Cookie Cakes

Courtney Rezendes — Fall River, Massachusetts

Although Courtney was originally set on attending Johnson & Wales University to pursue a culinary career, her parents convinced her to follow a more conventional path. She eventually earned degrees in baking and pastry arts, and later in hospitality and restaurant management. She currently works as an instructor at the same college she graduated from, and she really enjoys being a teacher and mentor.

Signature Dishes: Golden Butter Cake, Flan, Pecan Pie, Vanilla Souffle, Tiramisu

Daniela Copenhaver — Chula Vista, California

Less than a year ago, Daniela was a kidney transplant coordinator. But she's always dreamed of working in the culinary industry, and she decided to quit her job and pursue her goals. She now runs an online bakery and catering company. Completely self-taught, Daniela enjoys creating unique and playful desserts, some that include alcohol.

Signature Dishes: Mango Rum Cheesecake, Berry Fruit Tart, Salted Caramel Snickerdoodle Blondies, Berry-Lime Tres Leches Cake

Fausto Barragan — La Puente, California

Growing up very poor in L.A., Fausto was determined to make something of himself. He's since earned four degrees and has been an elementary school principal for the past 10 years. Baking, however, is his true passion, his stress relief and a way for him to give back to those he loves. Fausto is completely self-taught with a repertoire that includes cakes, cookies and Mexican pastries.

Signature Dishes: Fruit-Filled Sweet Rolls, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Croissants, Pan Dulce

Heather Walker — Scottsdale, Arizona

Familiar to competition, Heather has competed in the World Food Championships, placing third in 2014 and fifth in 2015. She taught herself to bake through books, online tutorials, and good old-fashioned trial and error. But she's not pleased unless she can create really challenging desserts, setting herself apart from the average home baker. She hopes to one day open her own bakery.

Signature Dishes: Creme Brulee Cake, White Chocolate Key Lime Eclair, French Macarons, Lemon Praline Genoise

John Reed — Shamong, New Jersey

Experience is something John has plenty of: He's been in the industry for the past 50 years, working mainly in Washington, D.C., and now in New Jersey, where he runs a bakery with his son. John learned to bake from his grandfather, and to this day John passes on those teachings and everything he's learned to young kids. When he's not in the bakery, John enjoys being outdoors and loves gardening.

Signature Dishes: Chocolate Ganache Hazelnut Mousse Torte, Italian Ricotta Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Pound Cake, Finiki

Jordan Pilarski — Amelia Island, Florida

As an athlete, Jordan has been competitive all his life. He's taking that energy and funneling it into his baking as a pastry chef at The Ritz-Carlton. He earned a culinary degree from Johnson & Wales University, and he perfected his pastry techniques in France. He's a perfectionist through and through, from his personal style to his desserts, which include sugar showpieces, pastries and cakes.

Signature Dishes: Polish Cheesecake, Spring Entremet, Chocolate Chili Verrine, Peppermint Pate a Choux Cream Puff, Honey Fire Bonbons

Mark Heyward-Washington — Charleston, South Carolina

Mark lives up to his nickname, Swanky, loving to put his own unique signature and trendy twists on desserts, like turning breakfast cereals into flour for baking. He keeps his skills sharp by coming up with a new dessert every day. He and his fiancee, also a pastry chef, hope to one day open a food truck specializing in gourmet PB&J sandwiches. When Mark's not baking, you can find him gaming.

Signature Dishes: Cinnamon Cookie Cheesecake, Cinnamon Cereal Tres Leche Cake, Charleston S’mores, Chocolate Puffed Cereal Brownies

Samirah Williams — Philadelphia

Samirah is the owner of Clara's Groovy Deliciousness, a boutique bakery specializing in high-end, custom-order desserts. Samirah's grandmother taught her to bake and is the inspiration for the bakery's name. Although Samirah's all business in the kitchen, she lets loose her goofy side now and then on her bakery crew. She hopes to eventually open her business to the public.

Signature Dishes: Sweet Potato Cheesecake, Gram's Cinnamon Rolls, Orange Cake, Vanilla Chai Doughnuts

More Spring Baking

Learn more about the competition, go behind the scenes and relive top moments from the season.