North County Duo Wins TLC's Next Great Baker

By Heather Riske
In Food

St. Louis bakers Al Watson and Lia Weber took home top honors on TLC’s “Next Great Baker” on last night’s Season 4 finale.

Al Watson and Lia Weber. Photo courtesy of Wedding Wonderland Cakes

Al Watson and Lia Weber. Photo courtesy of Wedding Wonderland Cakes

The duo met working at Florissant bakery Wedding Wonderland Cakeshop (437 Dunn Rd., Florissant, 314.837.5015) and Weber is now the pastry chef at Hendel’s Market Cafe (599 Saint Denis St., Florissant, 314.837.2304).

Watson and Weber were the only team, out of 10, competing from the Midwest. They won $100,000 and the chance to run Las Vegas bakery Valastro’s, owned by the show’s host Buddy Valastro.

Throughout the competition, the pair utilized their strong background in buttercream décor to set them apart from the other bakers. For the final challenge, they created an intricate Japanese cherry blossom cake inspired by the surroundings at Las Vegas’ Venetian hotel.

Finale watch parties were held at Yacovelli’s Restaurant, hosted by Wedding Wonderland, and at Hendel’s.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Al and I,” Weber says. “Throughout the duration of the show we were tested and constantly challenged, and I think we showcased our ability to work as a team and we each grew as bakers. I am more confident in myself today than ever and am ready to tackle whatever comes next.”

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