Dru Tevis Holiday Baking Championship

Will Delaware pastry chef Dru Tevis take $25,000 prize?

Pam GeorgeCulture, Headlines

Dru Tevis Holiday Baking Championship

Delaware’s Dru Tevis, right, and competitor Harshall Naik listen to judges on Food Network’s holiday baking contest.

When we last left Delaware’s “Dru-nicorn,” he made it through the second episode of “Holiday Banking Championship” on the Food Network.

But could Dru Tevis survive another round?

First State residents, friends, family and his SoDel Concepts colleagues tuned in last night to watch.

Indeed, many gathered at Thompson Island Brewing Co. in Rehoboth to watch alongside the pastry chef — and taste the dish he prepared on the show.

So, how did he do? Warning: Spoilers ahead.

But first, a recap

 In case you’ve been watching other programs, here’s the backstory.

Talent scouts recruited Tevis, who oversees the desserts for all SoDel Concepts’ restaurants.

The interview process was lengthy, and Tevis had only a few weeks to pack his bags and head to Tennessee for the taping.

Tevis knew it would be a challenge in more ways than one. First, he and other contestants face time limits to make unusual dishes.

Second, Tevis isn’t one to wing it.

“When I was in school, I handed in term papers early,” he said. “I studied for all my tests — nothing was ever done at the last minute.”

Preparedness paid off. He was the class valedictorian at the French Culinary Institute in New York (now the International Culinary Center).

On the first show, Tevis’s pumpkin crunch pavlova with brown butter-pumpkin ganache and then his eggnog pie wowed the judges: Duff Goldman, a reality show veteran who owns Charm City Cakes in Baltimore and Los Angeles; Nancy Fuller, owner of Ginsberg Foods; and Carla Hall, a “Top Chef” alum.

No stranger to creative hairdos, Hall is the one who gave Tevis the nickname “Dru-nicorn” because of his signature — and highly decorated — topknot.

In the second episode, Tevis received praise for his butter-glazed donut.

Friends aren’t surprised. Tevis comes up with some innovative donuts for brunches in SoDel’s restaurants. He also made a gingerbread tiramisu.

Dru Tevis chocolate silk pie

Dru Tevis’s chocolate silk pie with a cookie crust and coffee and hazelnut liquers.

Tevis’s flight of flavors

 There are two challenges in each episode, and the winner of the first gets an advantage going into the second.

For the advantage contest, the bakers had to make a sweet using one of the many ways people prepare a turkey.

For example, you can smoke it or fry it.

Tevis got brined and made a Thanksgiving cobbler tart with brined apples and pears, pecan crumble and fig compote on a pie crust.

“This is great,” Goldman said. “You’ve taken that brine flavor, and it totally works with this pecan gooeyness.”


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However, it was so dense that it wasn’t fully cooked, Hall countered.

The winner, Bill Makin, a home baker from Brooklyn, could choose his partner for the Flight of Flavors challenge.

The bakers each made a pie with a designated flavor profile and collaborated on a third with their colleagues.

Tevis’s partner, Harshall Naik from Bedford, Pennsylvania, got “floral.”

He made a pie with a lavender mousse with a hibiscus gelee and rose flowers. They partnered on an apple crisp.

Tevis worked with “silky,” and he made a chocolate silk pie with a chocolate cookie crust and one key ingredient.

“I love booze in everything, so I added coffee liqueur and hazelnut liqueur in the pie filling,” Tevis said.

Hall was impressed.

“Visually, it is so smooth,” she told him.

The winning flight team was spared elimination.

The rest were judged on the individual pies, and Tevis’s silky chocolate sensation got him through to the next week. Sumera Syed of Dallas went home.

The bakers are vying for a $25,000 prize, and the show airs on Monday nights at 8 p.m.

Tune in to root for the Small Wonder’s sweetheart.






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