If it’s Sunday, it’s “Meet the Press” and someone from Long Island competing on “Bake You Rich,” or so it’s beginning to seem. Just a week after episode one, in which Gerard Fioravanti of Huntington’s Fiorello Dolce competed (and emerged victorious), the second installment of this Food Network series will feature Long Islander Andrew Mincher. The Staten Island native, who currently bakes at La Strada in Merrick — and is a senior at Hofstra University — will do his best to follow in Fioravanti’s illustrious footsteps.
Just like last week, the show will be hosted by Buddy Valastro of “Cake Boss” fame, contestants will compete in a series of challenges, and the eventual winner’s signature sweet will be available for sale on Valastro’s website immediately after the show.
Mincher, in addition to being a former baker at Sugar Rush in Massapequa, has competed on the network before, in a 2012 episode of “Cupcake Wars” (he placed second). As for this time around?
“Just meeting Buddy Valastro was kind of the best part of the show,” said Mincher, who called us on Thursday after his Marketing 175 class, carefully avoiding running afoul of his nondisclosure agreement with the “Bake You Rich” folks. “But so was competing and coming up with new products. It was a great experience overall.”
His opponents on the show include a professional pie baker from Seattle, a cupcake connoisseur from West Virginia, and a macaron maven from Georgia. All are women.
“Going up against three girls — I mean, come on, it’s a tough thing to do," Mincher said, laughing.
Win or lose, he has graduation to look forward to. Mincher will finish his BBA in marketing and finance in just a few weeks. Meantime, he's living an unusual and taxing double life that may well bring its own dividends.
“Graduating and being a baker on this show — it's different. I’m building my brand one day at a time.”
The second episode of “Bake You Rich” airs on Sunday night at 10 on the Food Network.