Crust first…

Our very own, Tegan Bahm, made it onto MasterChef Junior!  A 12-year-old girl with a passion for baking and a support group lifting her up.  Mom, Heather, and dad, Bruce, run Rae Rae’s Bakery in Billings – and couldn’t be prouder of Tegan’s accomplishments.

So what was it like being on MasterChef Junior?  Tegan says, “I was never on TV before then… It was crazy!”  Days were spent catching up on schoolwork before miking up and heading to the kitchen.  Once contestants were given their challenge for the day, “we would just get right into it.”  Tegan shared that one of her favorite parts about being on the show was the pantry.  “They provide so much stuff to use, it’s crazy.”  To give an idea, Tegan says the MasterChef Junior pantry was “a little bit bigger” than the main lobby area at Rae Rae’s Bakery.

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Tegan made one of her favorites for the team – cream puffs.  She made the crust first and then creates a Bavarian crème for the filling.  Tegan’s cream puffs are unique (along with all the goodies at Rae Rae’s Bakery) as they are completely gluten-free.  She has always worked with gluten-free recipes, saying, “I wouldn’t want to make something I can’t eat.”  Working with normal flour is a lot different and would change baking times as well as consistency in her recipes.

Through the course of filming, Tegan learned to become comfortable with the cameras following her.  She focused on her cooking and got into her natural groove.  Tegan shares that she had been a pretty big fan of the show for a while before deciding to audition.  “It was absolutely crazy to see everything there and everyone there.  It was awesome.”

Most bakers get to the bakery at 3 or 4 in the morning.  Is Tegan a morning person?  “No.  I do not do mornings.”  We feel you there Tegan.  “I’m a sleep person,” she shares candidly after being asked if she is instead a night owl.  That doesn’t mean she isn’t going to put in the work though.  Tegan shared that during filming her day was pretty evenly split between cooking and taping interview segments.

Tegan’s favorite part about baking is the decorating.  From fancy frosting on cupcakes to chocolate drizzles.  Her least favorite, you can probably guess, “clean-up.”  Although she has a secret fix for the task everyone avoids, “just make my sister do it.”  Wise words from our young baker.  Another trade secret she shared, when she’s baking, “one or two [treats] might fall off the pan sometimes, and into my hand.  [They] might go to my mouth – but that’s just cooking.”

Alright, Gordon Ramsay, he can be pretty intense, right?  Did Tegan feel like she got into any intense situations when filming for MasterChef Junior?  Tegan shared that, “all of the chefs were actually really nice.  Gordon Ramsey, on all his adult shows, seems like really mean.  And he’s yelling at everybody to do stuff, be there.  Then on the kid’s show he’s actually really nice…  And a lot taller in person.”  But not quite tall enough to slam dunk a basketball in her opinion.

What’s next for Billings’ newest television star?  Well, mostly finishing school and continuing to help at the family bakery.  After that, the world is her cream puff.