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World-renowned cake decorator, Ron Ben-Israel, is back for the third season of the whimsical and delicious competition series Sweet Genius, premiering Thursday, October 18th at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network. Each episode features four of America's premier pastry chefs battling against each other through three rounds of challenges judged by Ben-Israel, testing their creativity, originality and taste. The chefs are presented with surprise ingredients and an inspiration with which they must create scrumptiously sweet dishes in a limited amount of time. The winners from each round advance for a final test, with Ben-Israel crowning the remaining chef Sweet Genius plus a $10,000 cash prize.
Premiering Thursday, October 18th at 10:00pm ET/PT - SEASON PREMIERE!
In the first test of genius, canine cuteness inspires the chefs to create a chocolate dessert from an iconic breakfast food and bland bread. In the second test, the chefs get an entertaining inspiration, peanuts and a sweet drink, but one chef's mishap with a critical element on the plate causes disappointment. With two chefs left to compete for the grand prize, a charming, chiming object gets the chefs' imaginations ticking, but who will make the better cake from a supermarket treat and an aromatic grass?
Competitors: Stephen Collucci, Matt Marotto, Harlee Morrow, Jen Yee
Premiering Thursday, October 25th at 10:00pm ET/PT
In celebration of Halloween, the Sweet Genius is stirring up some devilish trouble in his World of Desserts. Chef Ron's first inspiration is bound to get the chefs' blood pumping, as they race to put together chocolate desserts from an Asian drink and dried fungi. Then, in the second round, a haunting apparition inspires the chefs to use onions and a strongly flavored novelty candy. With $10,000 at stake, a creepy critter crawls on the scene to scare the chefs into action. Who will be most successful using black radishes and mini ice cream cones in the final test?
Competitors: Julia Freed, Sarah Mironczuk, Matthew O'Haver, Padua Player
Premiering Thursday, November 1st at 10:00pm ET/PT
For the first test, the Sweet Genius brings on the heat with an erupting volcano as the inspiration. With pink beans and an exotic fruit as mandatory ingredients, will the chefs' chocolate desserts explode with flavor? In the second test, as if combining an oversized treat with a green mash was not tough enough, the chefs must also keep in mind a wild second inspiration. In the final test, an enchanting figure inspires the chefs, but the real magic will be making a berry drink and matzoh into genius cakes.
Competitors: Carl Bertka, Alison Mahoney, Ayanna Sims, Mykel Winterstine
Premiering Thursday, November 8th at 10:00pm ET/PT
Chef Ron's surprisingly conceptual first inspiration sends our master pastry chefs down a dark path. Will they see the light and figure out how to effectively utilize sweet fruit filling and chorizo in their chocolate desserts? In the second test, a marionette inspires the chefs to display their masterful techniques with pizza dough and chicory coffee. And in the final round, a symbol of peace and hope appears overhead, but it does little to ease anxiety, as the finalists rush to make incredible cakes from a sticky spread and a colorful veggie.
Competitors: Bruno Feldeisen, Nicole Kaplan, Francesco Manfredi, Max Santiago
Premiering Thursday, November 15th at 10:00pm ET/PT
In the first test, a favorite feathered friend inspires the chefs to work with tofurkey and an exotic fruit. The chefs tackle the next challenge using barbecue sauce and snack mix as mandatory ingredients. Then, with $10,000 and the title of Sweet Genius on the line, the two remaining chefs confront a fear-inducing inspiration and two unusual cake ingredients.
Competitors: Charles Schoenthal, Frank Malak, Joey Settepani, Ashley Summers
Premiering Thursday, November 22nd at 10:00pm ET/PT
For the first test, the chefs are equally inspired as they are startled by a jaw-dropping stuntman. But can they make show-stopping chocolate dishes with an unusual squash and an old-fashioned candy? Then for the second test, some squeaky birds get the chefs thinking up festive candy creations made from a curdled dairy product and a versatile veggie. With $10,000 at stake, the last two chefs are given a fair attraction as an inspiration, but can they be certain that Chef Ron will enjoy their cakes made from a classic cookie and a leafy herb?
Competitors: Courtney Bonning, Ryan Luttrell, Nina Reed, Mike Romano
Premiering Thursday, December 6th at 10:00pm ET/PT
Chef Ron is in the mood for mistletoe and merriment, and he has a host of holiday surprises for the competitors. In the first round, the chefs meet a little ambassador from the North Pole and must create chocolate desserts from a fabled pudding and a classic yuletide candy. The chefs then get an icy inspiration for the second test, along with a starchy packaged food and colorful refreshment. In the final holiday hoorah, the last two chefs must find a way to make chocolate treats work with beets and a magical inspiration.
Competitors: Maureen Leonard, Connie Mullins, Melissa Reaves, Josh Rosen
About Ron Ben-Israel
As Chef-Owner of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, one of the country's finest couture cake studios, Ron Ben-Israel's cakes have been hand-delivered to destinations throughout the continental U.S and abroad. Ron started his confectionery adventures after a fifteen-year career as a professional modern dancer. Upon retiring from performing with companies spanning three continents, he utilized his art training, military background and ballet regime into the discipline of pastry arts. After arriving in New York City, Ron's cakes were discovered by Martha Stewart while on display in the windows of Mikimoto on Fifth Avenue. In 1999 he established his flagship design studio and bakery in Manhattan's fashionable SoHo neighborhood. He is a Visiting Master Pastry Instructor at the International Culinary Center in New York City, and has been awarded prestigious gold medals for his confectionery achievements. To learn more about Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, please visit: www.weddingcakes.com/#/home/
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