Facebook pixel Fiebelman Takes on Food Network’s “Easter Basket Challenge”

Fiebelman Takes on Food Network’s “Easter Basket Challenge”

Thursday, February 25, 2021


Harry FiebelmanWhat he initially thought might have been a scam may turn out to be a dream come true for Harry Fiebelman. 

Fiebelman, adjunct instructor in the baking and pastry arts program at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park, is one of seven competitors chosen for Food Network’s Easter Basket Challenge, which premieres locally March 1 at 9 p.m. 

“I found out about Easter Basket Challenge in October after a scouter contacted me through Instagram. They had found one of my friends from college, and that friend gave them my info in case they wanted to reach out to me, too,” Fiebelman said. “At first, I thought it was a scam since it was some random person on Instagram. But when I learned my friend was the first to be contacted, I figured it wasn't. Once I started the process of applying, it was quick in scheduling some interviews and then I was offered a spot and given a couple days to fly to New York City for filming. It happened so fast. At first I thought it was all a dream.” 

Their task is to impress judges Jordan Annino and Claudia Sandoval as the bakers interpret the outrageous themes and showcase delicious Easter confections and unbelievable edible displays. The last baker standing takes home the Bunny Money grand prize – a golden egg filled with $25,000 – and bragging rights. 

In the premiere episode, host Sunny Anderson challenges the bakers to create jellybean-inspired pop art pastry tarts and oversized sweets that are museum-worthy. The bakers take on an Easter classic with Peeps taking center stage in a later episode, as the competitors pay tribute to the colorful marshmallow confection with an edible Easter Parade float. And in another thematic challenge, the bakers rock the runway with their tasty takes on fashion trends using Easter candy as inspiration, including a strut down a catwalk with Easter bonnets. In the finale, competitors make a three-foot tall panoramic Easter egg, with lots of cotton tails and a few Easter fails along the way. 

Easter Basket Challenge“Overall, I had a great experience on the show. It was a great opportunity to push my skills to the limits,” Fiebelman said. “I am not a regular cake decorator. I focus more on recipe development in more home baking aspects and not these over-the-top and super flashy showpiece style creations. It was still a fun experience to make some of the biggest creations of my career so far and push myself in the competition setting. I also got to meet and befriend some incredible cake decorators. Cake decorating is a very broad field with a lot of different styles, so I loved learning how everyone brought their own style to the table and learn some of their techniques in cake decorating.” 

Fiebelman, 26, has spent most of his life baking, starting his own business at age 14. 

“My business started as selling cakes, and as I learned new parts of the pastry world I expanded into offering small classical pastries like tarts, eclairs, cream puffs, petit fours, and eventually chocolate bonbons as well,” he said. “It was something I did just in my free time in high school and I have kept the business title so that I can offer small orders to those who reach out and ask for anything from my kitchen.” 

Fiebelman, who grew up near San Francisco, Calif., earned a bachelor’s degree in baking and pastry arts from Johnson and Wales University (Providence, R.I.). He also studied at l'Ecole Nationale Superieure de la Patisserie in Yssingeaux, France, and also worked at local bakeries and coffee shops. 

Following graduation in 2017, Fiebelman returned to California and parlayed his love for baking into a teaching career. The coronavirus pandemic provided an opportunity to broaden his teaching skills through development of an online baking program. 

“Building an online baking program was a bit of a struggle. I had been asked by clients in the past about doing videos online, but never thought I'd do that myself,” Fiebelman said. “I am not the best on computers and work better with physical things, so figuring out building a website, filming, editing, and how to put it all together for a prospective student took some time. I had no income (at the beginning of pandemic) and was figuring it out mostly by myself, with advice from my mom and testing videos and recipes with coworkers from previous jobs. I have since gotten to the point where it's not as scary or difficult, but I am still learning how to better my videos and make them even better for my business.” 

Fiebelman joined the staff at STLCC-Forest Park in December 2020. He is the third representative of Forest Park to appear on a televised baking competition. Casey Shiller, coordinator of the baking and pastry program, is a two-time winner of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” Lia Weber, a program graduate, won The Learning Channel’s “Next Great Bakers” title in 2014. 

“I actually was hired after I did the whole show, so I did not know Chef Casey prior to filming,” Fiebelman said. “When I was hired and learned he was also on some Food Network shows, I was excited to have someone to talk to about this whole experience. Casey has offered me a lot of advice on using the show to help my career, some contacts in the St. Louis area for promotion, and has just been a great mentor.” 

The entire five-episode season of the Easter Basket Challenge will be released to stream on discovery+ on March 1. 

“Any ‘eggheads’ can binge the whole season Monday and Tuesday to see who gets that Bunny Money,” Fiebelman said.

Back to top