By Karen Kelly
Photos by CBC/Geoff George
Third-year Criminology student Jasmine Linton landed a spot on The Great Canadian Baking Show this season.
When did you first get interested in baking?
My grandma baked a lot for her church, and when she would babysit me she encouraged me to bake with her. Then I would go home and try it myself.
What’s your specialty?
I love making cakes more than anything else because they are a blank canvas that you can do anything with. It’s such an easy platform to do different stylistic things—like sculpted cakes.
How did you end up on the Great Canadian Baking Show?
A friend of mine heard there was a casting call and convinced me to send in an application. I got a call for a phone interview, then went to Toronto to audition in person. I got the offer about a month later and we ended up filming for about six weeks at the beginning of summer.
It was hard to audition at first because I’m a very quiet person when I’m in a room full of new people, but I really wanted the opportunity to learn from the professional chefs and bakers—they are so passionate about what they do and have so much knowledge to share.
What was the hardest part of the experience?
I remember the first judging and watching them move up the line of bakers and get closer and closer to me. I was nitpicking every single thing wrong with my cake and thought, what if I start crying? It was nerve wracking.
The other hard part was not meeting my own expectations. Bakers are perfectionists and after a challenge, we would go to the greenroom and talk about all of the mistakes we made. I had to learn to accept and deal with that. I learned that things don’t have to be exactly perfect.
What happens next for you?
While I am really interested in criminology, this experience convinced me that I want to be a pastry chef. It’s the only thing that I can imagine getting up at 5 a.m. to do. I worked at a bakery over the summer and I was so excited to bake every day and felt so happy at the end of every shift: I couldn’t believe it had been eight hours. So after graduation, I’ll be going to pastry school in September.
How has your time at Carleton helped you?
At 22, I was by far the youngest contestant on the show. I had a lot of self-doubt, but I had to reassure myself I could do it. That’s one thing I learned in university: to push self-doubt aside and tell myself, ‘maybe it’s difficult but you’ve gotten this far and you have to focus on what you can do.’ I really think that mindset will help me in the future.
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