From fond memories of baking with her mom, grandmother and great-grandmother as child to the pressure-filled experience of baking on a national television show, Jessica Colvin has always felt most at home in the kitchen. For the single mom of two, baking things for others is her and her family’s love language.
She was completely taken out of her comfort zone when she had to put her baking skills to the test on season five of the Spring Baking Championship on the Food Network. Being selected was a total surprise—Colvin’s best friend friend secretly sent in an application for her to be on the show. To add to the pressure, she was the only amateur baker in the field.
Luckily, she took it all in stride and accomplished her personal mission of surviving the show’s first round of cuts before exiting in the second episode. And, in the eyes of her kids, she is now world-famous.
Although the show premiered in the spring, it was taped the previous fall, so she had to keep quiet about the results until the season aired. Now that the pressure’s off, she is back home in Southlake, reflecting on what she learned and what the future holds for her baking career.
Hails from: California (Bay Area)
Lives in: The Carillon neighborhood, Southlake
Children: 8-year-old Ellie and 4-year-old Miles
Siblings: Two older twin brothers
Career highlight: Appearing on season five of the Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship
Fun fact: She doesn’t watch cooking shows or use a recipe when baking
Where to find her work: cakeitwithjess.com
One-on-One with Jessica Colvin
DFWChild: What was it like on the set?
Jessica Colvin: It was exhausting. For two weeks straight, we worked intense 12-hour days in the middle of nowhere in Louisiana. It didn’t feel competitive at all though—everyone was rooting for one another. The best part has been all the connections I made with these incredibly talented chefs.
C: Had you ever been in front of the camera before?
JC: No! It was a totally new experience. I had no idea how much goes into the production of a television series.
C: Was it hard to keep quiet to your friends and family about the show since it filmed so many months ago?
JC: Definitely! Especially as it was getting ready to air, everyone kept telling me how much they were rooting for me. I was like, “Well, don’t root too hard.” Ha!
C: What did your kids think of you being on the show?
JC: They think it’s the coolest thing ever. They tell anyone who will listen. On the first episode, they did a little introduction on our entire family and showed pictures of my kids, so now they think they’re famous too.
C: You were sent home after the second episode. How did that feel?
JC: My goal was to make it past the first found, so after that, I was like, “OK, mission accomplished.”
C: You’ve been baking since you were a child. Do you have any professional training?
JC: I don’t. I grew up in the kitchen and basically just use a lot of trial and error when I’m trying out new things. I’m lucky that all three generations before me loved to bake so it’s a family tradition that I get to carry on.
C: Would you consider baking a hobby or a profession?
JC: Luckily, for me, I would say both. A couple years ago, I had an eight-month stint at a Facebook data center in Fort Worth where I worked as their pastry chef. They served a different genre of food every day that really allowed me to experiment with a lot of different types of desserts.
Since then, I’ve just been doing business on my own and growing it through word of mouth. I do some event catering, lots of cakes, and I’m starting to teach cake classes.
C: What next? Have you thought about opening a bakery of your own?
JC: Long-term, I would love to have a storefront but that comes with a lot of overhead cost. I’m currently looking to buy and convert an Airstream where I can teach cake classes from.
C: Let’s talk about mom life. Did you always know you wanted to have kids?
JC: Absolutely. I was one of those little girls who was always babysitting when I was around younger kids, even if I wasn’t asked to. I feel like I was just born to be a mom. I didn’t plan on having Ellie so young but now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
C: How would you describe your parenting style?
JC: Since I’m a young mom, I’d like to think I’m the cool, laidback mom. I definitely go with the flow and I think that’s made both of my children more relaxed as well.
C: Do you think being a single mom has affected how you parent?
JC: I think my parenting style would be the same regardless. Plus, I don’t necessarily feel completely like a single mom. Miles’ dad and [dad’s] parents are super involved and so are my parents who also live in Southlake.
C: What’s your favorite part about being a mom?
JC: I think just getting to see the world again through their eyes. I get to be a kid again and do silly things that you don’t get to do in your adult life.
C: What’s the most challenging?
JC: They are these little people that depend on you for everything. That’s a daunting task.
This interview was originally published in May 2019.
Photography courtesy of Jenna Sutton