When the world comes crashing down around her, Melina Schein knows exactly what to do.
She heads to the kitchen whips up something delicious that will warm the bellies and soothe the souls of the people she loves most.
It’s a tried-and-true recipe for tough times that got put into good use during the pandemic and helped get the Vernon woman ready for an opportunity that came across her desk last summer.
“I am a huge Food Network fan and aficionado,” Schein, an opera singer and vocal coach by day, said.
“I almost exclusively watch Food Network shows, and have had a fixation on cooking and baking shows since I was a kid.… (The application for a Food Network show) came up during COVID when my industry and the arts were shut down, and I wasn’t doing anything other than cooking through a 400-plus-recipe cookbook that I took on to make myself sane during the shutdown.”
She applied, they accepted and she took a leap of faith — a plane to Toronto — for a culinary adventure of a lifetime.
The name of the show is Wall of Bakers and it’s based on the successful show Wall of Chefs.
In each episode, four amateur bakers face off in three rounds, hosted by Noah Cappe of Wall of Chefs and Carnival Eats. There’s also a wall of high-profile bakers presiding over their creations.
In the first “crowd-pleaser” round, they prepare their own personal signature desserts. In the second “baker’s pantry” round, they are challenged to come up with a dessert using two ingredients that are staples in the pantry of one of the chefs on the Wall. In the third and final “Bakery-Worthy” round, the last two home bakers are inspired by a chef’s signature confection to make their own bakery-worthy creations.
The winner will get a $10,000 prize and the title of Wall of Bakers champion.
Schein can’t say how she fared in the one-day competition but she did say it was a “thrilling and terrifying” experience that tested her endurance, helped her grow, and earned her some new friendships.
In addition to being face to face with some of her baking heroes, Schein said she’s always been fascinated with the TV and movie industry, and loved seeing how the show played out from behind the scenes. She also was blown away by the kitchen setup provided.
While the results will remain secret until the show is over, Schein said she’s pleased with her performance.
“I would not have done anything differently,” she said. “I had the most amazing time, met incredible people and became great friends with another competitor on my show.”
That doesn’t mean the vocal coach and opera singer will make a major career shift.
“I have been a performer since nine and I am 46 and I think this is where I am going to stick. But I love the fact there is so much to learn and endless possibility of what I can do.”
The Corus Studios original makes its sweet debut March 28 at 7 p.m. PT on Food Network Canada and Schein will be on that episode.
Food Network Canada and Global News are properties of Corus Entertainment.