CLOSTER — When 13-year-old Linsey Lam watched past seasons of the Kids Baking Championship at home, she often daydreamed about what it would be like to win the competition.
This dream became a reality on Monday night, as she took first place and the $25,000 prize in the Food Network competition.
“It was so unbelievable and amazing!” said Linsey, a Closter, NJ resident. “I could not believe or process that I had just won the Kids Baking Championship! I was so amazed because all our cakes were so good, and I couldn’t believe that I had topped two amazing bakers, let alone the thousands in the country that tried out to be here!”
The final competition had the three finalists create a birthday cake in celebration of Food Network Magazine’s 10th birthday. Linsey wow’d the judges with a chocolate cake with a coconut filling and a raspberry buttercream.
“Other than being born, this is the best moment in my entire life,” said Linsey, before doing a back flip in excitement.
While working on their cakes, Lam and another finalist, Alex Czajka, discussed what they would do with $25,000, deciding they would both buy a dog. Linsey said she would love to buy a Maltese, while Czajka hoped to get a Beagle.
The newly crowned baking champion thanked her mother, who helped Linsey with her hair at 6:30 a.m. before the show and calmed her down when she wasn’t sure if she would be sent home or not.
“She supported me every step of the way, and I am very thankful,” said Linsey. “I would like to thank my fellow bakers, because they were all so fun to get to know and hang out with, and I could not imagine going through this with anyone else.”
While being on the show in general was a memorable experience, Linsey said one of her favorite dishes to make was her unicorn cake, a creation she later remade on her Instagram account, along with her other dishes from the competition.
"Not only was this my first successful cake, but it was good enough that I won that round!" said Linsey.
The show, which wrapped up its fourth season, pitted 12 young bakers vying to win the championship and $25,000 prize. Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli were the hosts and judges.
The most challenging dish during her time on the show was her first dish, episode one's cookie cake.
"My cake was falling apart, and it was very difficult to patch up my mistakes," said Linsey. "Also, because it was my first challenge, I was not used to baking in the kitchen."
Ever since filming ended, Linsey has been taking a bit of a "baking break" after the high-intensity competition. She doesn't plan to stay away from the kitchen for very long, however, as she still hopes to take on the challenge of creating the perfect macaron.