A barbecue blogger and a tween baker — both from Utah — are contestants on separate culinary competitions on the Food Network.
Susie Bulloch — a Lehi resident who blogs at Hey Grill, Hey — is one of eight contestants on “BBQ Brawl: Flay V. Symon.” The four-episode show starts Thursday, Aug. 1, and features celebrity chefs Bobby Flay and Michael Symon, who mentor team members through culinary battles at the Star Hill Ranch in Texas. The winner earns the “Master of Cue” title and gets a digital series on FoodNetwork.com.
Sophie Tate, a 12-year-old bakery owner from Stansbury Park, is one of nine young bakers selected for “Kids Baking Championship.” Season 7 premieres Monday, Aug. 5. Each week, contestants — ages 10 to 13 — show off their skills and creativity during dessert challenges, from intricate pie art to giant doughnut cakes. The grand prize is $25,000, a feature in Food Network Magazine, and the title of “Kids Baking Champion.”
Tate runs Blondies’ Bakery, where customers can create original cupcakes by mixing and matching different cake and frosting flavors. Or they can order one of Tate’s signature creations such as the Samoa, a coconut cake with chocolate ganache, caramel coconut and caramel frosting.
“Sophie loves the color pink and has a close relationship with her pink stand mixer named Petunia,” according to her Food Network contestant page, which shows her in ponytails and spunky red-frame glasses. When she’s not running Blondies’ Bakery, she enjoys ballet.
A Utah native, Bulloch grew up Cottonwood Heights but spent her summers near Bryce Canyon, where her parents owned a hotel and restaurant.
Several years ago, a neighbor asked Bulloch to write and develop recipes for Traeger Grills, his wood-pellet grill company.
Since then, Bulloch — a married mother of three — started Hey Grill, Hey, sharing recipes for backyard grilling and smoking with everyday cooks. She currently has 56,000 followers on Instagram and her husband was able to quit his job as an accountant in 2017 to help her run the company, which includes a line of spice rubs.
While “BBQ Brawl” will be Bulloch’s first time competing on TV, she has worked with Flay and been on the Food Network before. She and the celebrity chef helped set a world grill record several years ago; and, in 2018, Bulloch was a guest judge on “Ultimate Summer Cook-Off.”
In “BBQ Brawl,” her competition includes restaurant owners, chefs and veteran pit masters such as Lee Ann Whippen and Tuffy Stone.
“As I looked down the line of contestants, I was the odd one out,” she said in a telephone interview. “I was wondering if my backyard barbecue could stand up against these professional restaurant owners.”
Tune in to find out.