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The Cupcake Championship (Behind the scenes story told by her Mom)

Ella doesn't realize this about herself, but I know...

She is humble --endearingly humble, so after being asked by so many people about this experience, I get to tell the story from my perspective.


It has been four years since Ella won the Cupcake Championship on Food Channel Network.

How time flies!


One particular day in our hectic Chatty Kitchen, Ella mentioned that someone called her saying they were a Producer from Food Channel Network and wanted to set up an interview for her to be on a show.


Too busy to think anything about it more, we just went on baking.


Weeks later, two more producers called saying they saw her work on facebook and instagram, read about our bakery, and wanted to set up an interview.


The interview was set up. She was going to be a questioned for an hour by three producers on a skype call. In preparations for the interview, she had been assigned to make a cupcake cake (a cluster of cupcakes that looked like a cake), and "other" creative cupcakes at her discretion.


She was nervous. Now it seems real.


The call came and they asked: 

**Details about her recipes (You had to bake from scratch).

**If she would share her recipes with the Network.

**General questions: Tell us about yourself? What do you enjoy about baking?


Here are pictures of her creative design projects made for her interview:

**A Cupcake Cake to mimic Frida Kahlo - a famous designer.

**A mini oven made out of graham crackers and kit kat, with a "baked" cupcake inside..

**An all edible dragon cupcake topper.

**A floral dress cupcake cake made out of cupcakes and sugar cookie.


She was chosen for the show, but we were told not to tell anyone. And while we were excited, we were literally too busy to celebrate. We just baked on..


As the time got closer, she got emails with instructions from various people at the Network. They would explain rules, travel arrangements, the agenda.


Ella was allowed to take with her one shoe box size of baking supplies.


This picture was taken the morning she left for California

with her shoebox of baking supplies and nervous

energy. Her only goal? Not to be eliminated in the first round.


What a busy time!

It was during the holiday of Valentines week, filled with orders that I hoped I could manage alone, but all the while, thinking about Ella.



She was gone a total of 5 days--two travel days and three filming days.

Upon arrival in California, she met her fellow contestants--whom, she said, were all very nice. She made special mention of how confident the boy in the group was, sharing his expert culinary training, etc. She was convinced he would win. We told her to just do her best.


The contestants weren't allowed to take their cell phone to the studio during filming and because of the three hour time difference, we anxiously waited for late night calls to hear about the day.


What an experience!


Well, Ella was grateful she wasn't eliminated in the first round, but sad the first contestant had to go home on the first night because she ran out of time to finish the first competition and she was very talented.


Key points Ella learned during the competition:

**Keeping track of time was very important and you were under pressure to think on your feet.

**Producers constantly prompted the contestants to say things to each other--either to tease them to get a reaction, or encourage them.

**As far as the judges? Ella had no clue who Marcia Marcia was from the Brady Bunch, so there was no big "wow" when she met her, but said how nice she was to everyone.

**And all the while the boy still thought he was going to win.


The last night, when we knew it was all done, Ed and I waited (and waited) for a call from Ella to let us know how it turned out. It was getting late and I fell asleep with the phone on my chest.


The phone finally rang.


Her first words, Ahh, I didn't win.  I immediately went into my already prepared speech telling her "not to worry about losing, but the experience was the important thing." Before I could finish my speech, she yelled, I won!


So excited!


Ed and I both teared up, not because our daughter won, but because I've watched Ella work hard constantly--day and night, many long hours, and many times when friends were partying...she worked.


It was a moment when life was fair.


We were all sworn to secrecy for months after filming. So we baked on...


A few months later the show aired. I'm not going to say the excitement wore off (well, maybe a little), but our friends and family gave us so much support, reminding everyone to watch! Newspapers called for interviews, and she was asked to be on local news shows.


It was a wonderful, but busy time.


The prize for winning the competition was $10,000 and she reinvested it back into the business. Here we are, four years later. Time really does fly by!


So we bake on...



Ella delivering ChattyCupcakes
Ella Gannis, Chattycupcakes

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