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Capuchin friar wins 5th season of 'The Great American Baking Show'

Brother Andrew Corriente

The Great American Baking Show | Facebook | Fair Use

J-P Mauro - published on 01/18/20

Brother Andrew said that he relied on prayer to make it though the competition.

The winner of this year’s nationally televised bake-off, The Great American Baking Show, was none other than the Capuchin contestant, Brother Andrew Corriente! The friar competed against nine other contestants, but his determination paid off as he received the prized cake display dish bearing the competition’s logo, along with all the accolades that come with reigning supreme in the prestigious competition.

In an interview with CUA’s online publication, Brother Andrew said that his biggest challenge was tackling his own self-doubt. He said he relied on prayer:

“I was surrounded by extremely talented bakers. Their breadth of knowledge is staggering. It made me question whether I know how to macaronage correctly, or if I had the proper ratio of flour to water for a loaf. What helped me through it was definitely prayer. I was going through so much doubt that I needed to express it and give it to God.”

Brother Andrew’s journey through each round was not always smooth. In fact there’s one clip where the friar struggles to build an artistic stack of pastries, only to have the top part fall off and nearly become ruined. Brother Andrew learned from each of these mistakes, however, and grew in confidence with each passing week.

The CUA website describes the final challenge that Brother Andrew completed, for which he won the entire competition:

The final baking challenge was to create three different kinds of individual-sized mini desserts fit for a New Years Eve party. Brother Andrew titled his final creation “Baking My Way Through Life.” His desserts included chocolate sandwich cookies filled with lime butter cream and blackberry jam, a berry and cream cake filled with white chocolate frosting, and a rosemary-apple pie topped with salted caramel.

Brother Andrew is a third year theology student at CUA, working towards his ordination as a priest, which is expected to come in 2 years. During his studies, he lives at the Capuchin College, where he lives among other like-minded men who will, in one form or another, take up the ministry in the years to come.

Catholic Philly reports that the friar was sworn to secrecy at the end of filming and could not tell his fellow brothers the outcome, even as they watched from week to week. This made the celebration all the more intense when the Capuchin community saw him win in the last episode.

Brother Andrew is excited by the accolades and hopes to take his baking skills even further in the future, although he admits he is unsure how much time he will have for baking once he is a priest. He told CUA:

“After being on the show I’m smarter, faster, and more intentional in the kitchen now,” he said. “I want to build up my repertoire of base recipes and refine my technique. I want to cook the best of the best for my brothers and loved ones.”
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