Restaurant News & Reviews

Sacramento baker to compete on Christmas-themed Food Network show

Sacramento baker Lisa He competes in the first round of Food Network’s Christmas Cookie Challenge while host Eddie Jackson looks on.
Sacramento baker Lisa He competes in the first round of Food Network’s Christmas Cookie Challenge while host Eddie Jackson looks on. Food Network

Borderlands Bakery founder Lisa He will appear on Food Network’s Christmas Cookie Challenge next month in her second televised bake-off of the year.

He’s episode, titled “Christmas Comes In All Sizes”, will air at 10 p.m. Dec. 3. She’s barred from disclosing the results of the two-round competition, which comes with a $10,000 prize for the first-place winner.

He appeared in the pilot episode of Netflix’s show Sugar Rush earlier this year, but was bounced in the first round when her lychee-and-sparkling-wine cupcakes received a flat reception. Food Network contacted He after finding her Instagram page, she said, where she has more than 55,000 followers.

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Borderlands Bakery will be featured on Dec. 3rd’s episode of @foodnetwork #christmascookieschallenge 2018 -- make sure you tune-in at 10PM ET/PT! I was fortunate enough to befriend 4 other wonderful bakers: @confectionatelyyours_ggg who is opening her own bakery (!!!) On Nov. 3!! Details on her account. @case_bakes who has been killing it in the cookie biz for 7+ yrs (she is a cookie OG!!) and has opened her own shop recently @the.futile.gourmet who like me, works full time but has a passion for baking. His flavors are amazing, he tries so many new things and has an amazing sense of humor. @tiptopcakes_ia_ who owns a full service bakery and makes some very impressive wedding cakes in addition to all the regular sized stuff. Adam is an incredibly compassionate human and really has a way of making people feel loved. In addition to being incredibly talented, these 4 are all around such good people with amazing stories and the whole filming experience was so positive because of them. Please help us spread the word and be sure to watch us! Thanks also to the awesome film crew who took good care of us and gave an experience of a lifetime. Special thanks to @kgpix916 for the amazing shots -- appreciate you so much. Please contact Kristina for your photo needs-- she has an amazing way of making people comfortable in awkward photo-shoot situations. #borderlandsbakery #sacramento #sugarcookies #baking #ranchocordova #decoratedcookies #wiltoncakes #wilton #buzzfeedfood #foodgawker #cookiedecorating #cookiedecorator #cookieart #dessert #partyplanning  #desserttable #bakeyourworldhappy #royalicing #customcookies #christmas #christmascookies #foodnetwork #sacproud #cookieart

A post shared by Lisa He - I make pretty (@borderlandsbakery) on

A scammer posing as a Chinese consulate representative stole He’s parents’ life savings over the summer, she said. The prospect of earning $10,000 in just a few hours was too good to pass up, she said.

“Baking is one of those things where when you’re growing up, people in your household are like, ‘Don’t go into baking for a career because you’re never going to make money,’” she said. “Now I’m using baking to try to help my parents get back on their feet.”

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The Christmas Cookie Challenge episode pits He against four other competitors with an undisclosed theme. Each challenger had an hour and a half to make cookies from scratch in six different sizes before the three finalists faced off to build cookie Christmas villages in two hours.

He got into baking as a college student to burn off the stress of midterms and finals, she said, and opened Borderlands three years ago as a second job. The shop doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar location but will host pop-ups from 1-4 p.m. at The Kitchen Table on Dec. 15 and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Camellia Coffee Roasters on Dec. 22.

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