If you love cooking and baking as much as me, you’ve probably imagined being on one of those competition shows on the Food Network. And, if you are anything like me, there is no way in Hell’s Kitchen that you’re good enough! So who is good enough? Arin Hiebert, that’s who!
That’s right, Arin Hiebert from Calgary, Alberta, is definitely good enough! In fact, he recently competed on Food Network’s hit show Spring Baking Championship Season 6, where he baked his way to a spot in the finale. If you haven’t watched, you’re going to want to head over to the Food Network and do that right now!
Recently, I had the privilege to chat with Arin and ask him some burning questions! To be honest, I really wanted to hear him say raspberry and let me taste his delectable desserts!
Out of curiosity, how do you say raspberry? Is it rasp.berry, or is it razz.berry? I swear the Food Network insisted on making raspberries the main ingredient in nearly every episode just to hear Arin say it!
I had so much fun chatting with Arin, and he is such a great guy that I wanted to share part of our conversation.
Me: I know you’ve refined your skills at the French Pastry School and the Chocolate Academy in Chicago. And you’ve worked at some very prestigious establishments like The Fairmont Palliser in Calgary. But how do you end up on The Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship?
Arin: The casting producers found me through social media a few years ago. They reached out to see if I’d be interested in applying for the show. Of course, I was interested! But I wasn’t available for the filming dates that year, so I had to decline. The same producer reached out again the following year and was pretty persistent. I decided to pursue the opportunity. I went through a vigorous and intense interview and application process. The whole thing felt so surreal.
Nerves of Steel!
Me: Be honest, how nervous were you filming that first episode? I mean, the Food Network! That’s an enormous opportunity and a ton of exposure!
Arin: I was so nervous! I am not someone who ever envisioned myself being on camera or doing anything for TV. Yet, there I was, standing on set, looking around, and thinking… what have I gotten into? But I’m someone that always likes to face my fears and push myself through the experience and see what the end outcome is. My strategy was definitely to be myself and let the world see the true me!
Be the Duck!
Me: You made it clear to your competition that you meant business right from the start! You came out on top in the very first pre-heat where your Kiwi Rhubarb tart secured you an advantage in the next challenge. During that next challenge, you won everyone’s heart as you talked Christine down from a meltdown that nearly sent her home. Things got intense this season! Tears were shed! But you kept your cool? Where do you get your composure?
Arin: I am not sure, but I relate to a duck quite well – calm on the surface, but underneath the water… the feet are paddling like mad. I am usually a ‘calm’ person in general, so I guess that really helped me through the competition. I was able to stay grounded and keep my eye on the end goal.
Ruthless with a side of sweet!
Me: I want to say that for a show about baking, you guys weren’t always that sweet! In episode five, when you won the pre-heat and were allowed to assign each challenger a musical style as their inspiration for the next cake. You were ruthless, and I loved it! At that moment, if you where a dessert, what would you be?
Arin: That pre-heat win was a tricky one! That was probably the most stress I felt that season. It was hard to stand there and assign the themes to my fellow bakers. I really had no rhyme or reason or ill intentions to anyone. The only thing I knew was the one I wanted. The rest I assigned based on my gut feeling. I was probably a Baked Alaska – cool inside but fiery outside.
Note: I thought it would be fun to make a baked Alaska in honour of Arin! I was wrong! It wasn’t fun! As soon as I clean up the mess in my kitchen, I’ll post some pictures.
Me: You mentioned on the show that you knew you wanted to bake since you were ten years old. Most of us are well into adulthood and are still searching for our passion. How do you find it at ten? Who influenced you, and how do you keep that fire lit?
Arin: I would definitely say that this dates back to the days I spent with my Grandma when I was young. I always found it interesting how you could combine flour, sugar and butter and make such beautiful creations. Pastry is an ever-evolving profession. There are always new techniques emerging and new ideas to try! I suppose this still keeps me engaged and always wanting to do more!
Me: Was it your Grandma who taught you how to say raspberry? RASP or RAZZ? What about Calgary? Is it Calgry or Calgary?
Arin: I haven’t a clue where my pronunciation of raspberry comes from. I suppose I say it based on how it is written. I’m not a born and raised Calgarian, so I would say that I have pronounced it wrong a few times here and there. You shouldn’t feel bad, Lesa.
What’s up Pussy Pig?
Me: I’ve seen what you’re capable of creating! I go to ArinHiebert.com and drool over your beautiful cakes and cupcakes! During one episode, when host Clinton Kelly challenged you all to make the kitty Éclair, yours looked great….. for a pig! Even though the judges teased you for missing the mark on your animal design, and to your surprise, you co-won that pre-heat with a fellow baker, Aisha! The taste must have been out of this world! Have your cat skills improved? Would you like to add anything else to your defence?
Arin: Well, I would have to say, I probably won’t be facing my cat skills anytime soon, so I’m not sure there has or ever will be any improvements to my cat making skills. I’m not sure I should defend my eclairs – I mean, they definitely looked like pigs! Thankfully they were delicious little pigs, and the judges loved them!
It’s life changing!
Me: How has life changed for you since the finale of the Food Networks Baking Championship?
Arin: The show really gave me the platform and opportunity to push myself to start a bakery. This was something I always thought about but never really pushed myself to get it off the ground.
Me: What’s next for Arin Hiebert?
Arin: I will continue to grow my own brand and become someone that people think of when looking for sweet treats! My goal is to have a storefront in the near future.
You want a piece of me?
Me: Tell me a bit about Arin Hiebert Company! Most importantly, where can I order?
Arin: It’s simple! You head over to arinhiebert.com and pick the treats you want. Then, you choose what day and time you want them delivered. Sit back and leave the rest to me!
Currently, we don’t have a storefront or pick-up location; we only offer delivery. As a delivery-only company, we try to keep our rates as low as possible. Delivery is $5 within the city of Calgary and $15 in the surrounding area.
We have collaborated with our friends at Dixie & Twine for cake toppers and cute straws! We are your one-stop-shop! You can order your cake, add a cake topper and some straws, and you’re all set for the perfect party!
Wait! What? A subscription box?
Me: I subscribe to a few boxes like Singles Swag, The Roasters Pack, and Grillers monthly…… but I was just on arinhiebert.com, and I noticed I can get a subscription box full of Arin Hiebert baking? WHAT? Where has this been all my life? Tell me more!
Arin: Yes, we launched our subscription box a few weeks ago! We have a few different plans, cakes, cupcakes and cookie sandwiches! Within cakes, we offer an exclusive 4-inch size, which is perfect for someone who’s just by themselves or for a couple! It’s big enough for a couple of feeds. We also offer our 6″ and 8″ size cakes. The flavours change every month, based on our cake of the month! The same goes for our cupcakes and cookie sandwiches! These flavours rotate every month so that you won’t be getting the same thing every month. Items are delivered on the first Friday of each month within Calgary, free of charge. We also offer this program to the surrounding area for $8, which is bill separately.
Arin, thanks for taking the time out of your busy day! I really look forward to what the future has baked up for you! Baked up….. get it….. I saw that eye roll!
It was such a pleasure to chat and get to know you. It’s understandable why the producers were relentless in getting you on the show! You’re so sweet and charismatic, and you did a fantastic job representing Calgary on the Food Network Spring Baking Championship.
Calgary, let’s show him some love!
If you are in the area and are looking for a fantastic gift for someone, I encourage you to head over to arinhiebert.com and look into the subscription options. I would be thrilled to receive any of Arin’s offerings! Heck, gift yourself! We are in the last half of 2020! That’s definitely something to celebrate! Why not celebrate with an elegant AH cake!
Head to arinhiebert.com. today! Once you’ve tried his tasty treats, come back and let me know what you tried.
Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog. You don’t want to miss my Baked Alaska adventure.