When Bishop Asher entered the Silos Baking Competition, he had never baked professionally, let alone competitively. But that didn't stop his special holiday cookie recipe from stealing the show.
When Bishop Kevin Asher entered the Silos Baking Competition, he had never baked professionally, let alone competitively, but that didn’t stop him from winning the $25,000 cash prize and the opportunity to have his recipe featured at the Silos Baking Co.
It all started in February when Bishop Asher, who is currently serving in the Far West YSA Ward in Missouri, woke up one morning to his wife, Cassity Asher, telling him she had entered him in the Silos Baking Competition. Bishop Asher reminded her that he’s a chef and not a baker, to which Cassity responded, “You are now!”
Bishop Asher has a career of culinary experience under his belt, but he has never baked professionally. He has experience working as a sous chef, teaching at a culinary arts academy, and working as a private caterer for more than 20 years. He also has culinary expertise in his blood, as both of his great-grandmothers came to America from Europe as chefs to wealthy families.
As Bishop Asher says, “I grew up in the kitchen.” When he was a child he would help his mother bake Christmas cookies to give to neighbors. Little did he know that experience would prepare him for a major baking competition.
When Cassity encouraged him to apply for the Silos Baking Competition, Bishop Asher submitted a family recipe for kuchen, a traditional German cake. He was quickly invited to continue to the second part of the application, where he submitted a ﬁve-minute video pitch.
One of the things that caught the casting oﬃce’s attention was the fact that Asher is a stay-at-home dad to his almost two-year-old son, Daniel, while Cassity works from home. The oﬃce asked Bishop Asher to submit a second recipe.
Next, Bishop Asher received a call from the casting director who asked him if he would serve as an alternate for the competition, meaning he would be on call and ready to compete if one of the six competitors was unable to.
“My theme going down there was gratitude,” Bishop Asher says of his trip to Waco, Texas. He says he enjoyed the incredible culinary opportunity and the trip with his family. While in Texas, Bishop Asher met with producers and directors and eventually found himself in Chip Gaines’s oﬃce and later met Joanna Gaines and celebrity chef judges Andrew Zimmern and Zoë François.
A few months after returning from Texas, Bishop Asher reapplied and after submitting five new recipes, he was selected by the producers to be on the holiday edition of the Silos Baking Competition.
Asher on the set of Silos Baking Competition
Bishop Asher says all the contestants and people he worked with in Texas were wonderful people, and he enjoyed the experience immensely. He even had an opportunity to share the gospel when he mentioned that he would not use coffee or alcohol as ingredients in his recipes because he is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Everyone he worked with respected this, and Bishop Asher says, “The setting at the Silos is very God centered and family oriented.”
While competing, Bishop Asher wanted to represent how families can be strengthened through food, which sparked an idea that he and Cassity are now on a mission to share: “The fabric of family is knitted at the table,” Asher says.
In fact, family was the inspiration for Bishop Asher’s winning cookie: “Holiday Sandy’s.” The cookie is a type of shortbread with orange zest, cranberries, creamy citrus frosting, and what Bishop Asher calls “holiday dust,” a secret combination of seasonings.
Bishop Asher named his cookie after his mother, Sandy, who passed away in 2009. While she didn’t get to see him compete, Bishop Asher says, “I felt her there while I was baking.”
As of now, Bishop Asher doesn’t plan to take on a baking career, instead choosing to focus on his family. However, “I’m always up for a competition now, that’s for sure,” he says.