The winner of 'The Great American Baking Show' is taking on new challenges during lockdown.
Capuchin Friar Andrew Corriente made a splash on last year’s season of The Great American Baking Show, where he leveled the competition with his heavenly baking skills and took home the highly sought trophy, cash prize, and accolades. On the show, Corriente was given surprise challenges that he had to complete in a short amount of time, but now it seems this was perfect practice for his incredible work with Catholic Charities in Washington, DC, during the coronavirus pandemic.
The good folks at Catholic Charities have been working overtime to bring essential groceries and prepared meals to those in need. The Catholic Standard reports that they have donated about 200,000 meals since March and on May 19 the organization set up outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where they distributed 800 parcels of groceries and another 800 prepared meals to anyone who drove up and waited on line.
A few days earlier, however, when they realized the event’s proximity to the Capuchin College, home of baking champion Corriente, Catholic Charities reached out to the soon-to-be priest for his services. Brother Andrew commented:
“Catholic Charities came to me and said they were going to feed 800 families, and as crazy as I am, I just jumped on it.”
Enlisting help from several of his Brothers in Christ, Corriente worked the ovens for four days straight, baking about 400 cookies per day to supplement each donated package of food with delectable desserts. The Washingtonian reports that Brother Andrew and his merry men spent a good five hours each day baking for the effort, making cookies of the peanut butter, chocolate chip, and snickerdoodle varieties.
Corriente and his kitchen crew then donned their masks and gloves to join Catholic Charities and their selfless volunteer crew to help distribute the packages. In an interview with WUSA9, the friar said:
“Doing this kind of charitable work is just what I feel like I was designed to do. So it’s a really, really big honor to be part of it.” He added, “Sugar gives you joy. So, of course, we try to bake brownies or cinnamon rolls during this global pandemic. Just to give [people] some sense of comfort.”