How Jackson Fujimori’s Baking Hobby Landed Him on the Food Network

    Jackson Fujimori’s love for baking sparked one summer during cooking camp, right before entering the third grade. The young chef loved making apple crisps and red velvet cupcakes, sometimes into the wee hours of those summer night, which is how earned the nickname Midnight Baker. His claim to fame happened when a friend in showbiz told him about an audition for the Kids Baking Championship.

    Jackson became a contestant on the very first Kids Baking Championship at the age of 10. Though he managed to make it to the final round, his macaroons cracked, I guess you can say under pressure. “I was rushed and didn’t wait long enough for them to dry,” he says.

    Jackson didn’t win. Two years later, however, he was invited back to compete again, this time on the Holiday Baking Championship. He teamed with chef Jason Smith, and the two impressed the judges with their array of desserts. One of the standout items were Jackson’s macaroons, which judge Duff said were “spot on.” Together, Jackson and Smith won the title of Holiday Baking Champions and $10,000. “Macaroon redemption!” indeed.

    We discuss:

    • How baking taught Jackson perseverance
    • Who his earliest mentors were
    • How he balanced his hobby and school
    • What it was like to compete on national television
    • Jackson’s future culinary plans

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