The Minnesota sixth-grader who started baking with her father, beat out 11 other competitors to become the Food Network "Kids Baking Championship" Season 6, winner on Mon., March 11. The honor came with a $25,000 prize and a spot in Food Network Magazine.
Paige, 11, advises other aspiring bakers to be patient and creative, and to practice.
"You want to put your personality into what you bake," she said.
The "Kids Baking Championship" pits a dozen young bakers against each other in cooking challenges over 10 episodes. She competed against two other kids in the finale. Food Network star Duff Goldman and television personality Valerie Bertinelli were the judges.
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Paige said she started cooking as a hobby after juvenile arthritis forced her to give up dancing. She began baking cookies and cupcakes at her father's side. Soon, she was hooked. She saw other young bakers on television, which she said helped her to improve her skills.
She realized that she, too, could compete.
"When I was about 7, I started watching a lot of Food Network and baking championship (shows)," Paige said. "I said, 'Hey, I want to do this someday.'"
Paige tried out for Season 4 in 2017. She was discouraged when she didn't make the show, but she remained determined.
"I decided to try out again and keep practicing," she said.
She took classes at the former Kids Cooking School in Lino Lakes, Minn., to enhance her baking skills. That hard work paid off when she earned a spot on Season 6, which premiered on Jan. 7.
Paige said she was nervous tackling some of the baking challenges. For the first episode, she had to create a bacon cupcake with marzipan, which is almond paste. Paige is allergic to almonds.
"It was really weird because I had never made bacon before," she said. "I had made cupcakes before, but I had never used marzipan. It was just ... like, 'What am I gonna do here?' "
She felt more confident after getting through "that first bake without completely messing up or just falling apart. And things got easier after that first one."
Paige said she bakes with almonds at home, often making macarons. In fact, she considers lemon macarons to be one of her signature desserts.
"I can handle it, I just can't eat it," Paige said. "And that has been a little bit of a challenge, but I've been able to have other people try it and get their feedback. So it hasn't been too big of a setback for me."
These days, she also makes how-to videos with her father, Adam Goehner, adding her own details as they go along.
"I was doing the filming (for a how-to video for macarons), and when it got to the point where she had to whisk the egg whites, she turned on the mixer and started doing the 'whisk' dance," he said.
He continues to be impressed with his daughter's baking skills, recalling a chocolate cake she decorated with rainbow-hued rosettes.
"It looked flawless to me, and I just thought, 'Man, this kid's got skills,' " her dad said. "Another time she made tiramisu eclairs with a coffee whipped cream filling, and after eating half of them I couldn't help but think, 'That's one of the best things I've ever had.' "
Paige says she wants to train to become a pastry chef and open up her own bakery. She's well on her way.
She started Paigey Bakes in January of last year. The bakery's Facebook page features photos of a millionaire shortbread "drip" cake, strawberry cupcakes, and a "Fortnite" birthday cake.
She said she's earned more than $1,000 selling cakes to family, friends, and acquaintances.
Paige has advice for other young bakers who want to enter a competition.
"Be yourself," she said. "I was myself the entire process. Stay calm. Don't freak out."
ABOUT THE WRITER
Emerson Bull, 11, is an iGeneration Youth reporter living in Beaver, P.A.
Follow iGeneration Youth @igyglobal on Twitter.