Synopses & Reviews
The winner of The Great American Baking Show shares her story of personal growth and more than 100 delicious recipes.
"As much about a collection of recipes that makes your mouth water and tugs at your heart with food memories as it is about the chronicles and life lessons of a true comeback kid." — Carla Hall
Popular baking personality and lawyer turned baker Vallery Lomas was ecstatic when she learned she won the third season of The Great American Baking Show. However, her win was never seen by the world — Vallery's season was pulled after just a few episodes when one of the judges became a focal point in a Me Too accusation. Rather than throwing in her whisk and lamenting all of the missed opportunities she hoped to receive (Book deal; Product endorsements; TV show), she held her head high and hustled — which resulted in her getting press coverage everywhere from CNN to People magazine.
Now, Vallery debuts her first baking book. With 100 recipes for everything from Apple Cider Fritters to Lemon-Honey Madeleines and Crawfish Hand Pies to her Grandma's Million Dollar Cake. Vallery shares heirloom family recipes from her native Louisiana, time spent in Paris, The Great American Baking Show, and of course sweets and breads inspired by her adopted hometown, New York City. Vallery's "when life gives you lemons, make lemon curd" philosophy will empower legions of bakers and fans to find their inner warrior and bake their best life.
"Chef Vallery's story lets you know that if you can put your mind to it, you can achieve it. She also makes it clear that if you want delicious baked goods, you should take a page out of her book. From her simple nostalgic Strawberry Smash to her decadent bananas foster pancakes, there is a recipe in here for everyone!" Kwame Onwuachi, author of Notes From a Young Black Chef, James Beard Rising Star Chef and judge on Top Chef
"I don't know what's more inspiring, Vallery's incredible and deeply courageous story or her stunning, crave-worthy recipes. Life Is What You Bake It truly has it all: the kinds of stories that make you feel like you're hanging out with a good friend, loads of tips that will help you become a better baker, and of course, baked goods that you'll want to totally devour." Molly Yeh, Food Network host and cookbook author
"Lomas is an inspiration as a baker (have you seen Almost-Ate-the-Plate Carrot Cake?), a writer (headnote readers, you're in for some beautiful storytelling), but also as a human being, pursuing her passion for baking and continuing it against seemingly impossible setbacks. We're luckier for it." Deb Perelman, author of Smitten Kitchen Every Day
"Life Is What You Bake It is at once deeply personal and eminently practical. Vallery weaves together evocative stories about honoring family, overcoming disappointment, and pushing through fear. Her insightful tips and inspired recipes will help to make a champion out of any home baker. On top of that, her wisdom teaches us that baking is about more than creating something delicious; it's a means of grounding oneself, connecting to others, and carrying on a personal legacy." Claire Saffitz, author of Dessert Person
About the Author
Vallery Lomas is the winner of The Great American Baking Show and the first Black winner of the Great British Bake Off franchise. She hosts the digital show Vallery Bakes Your Questions on Food Network's website and the Food Network Kitchen app. She has also appeared on CNN, the Today show, Live with Kelly & Ryan, the History Channel, and the Hallmark Channel. Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Vallery attended college and law school in Los Angeles, practiced law in Washington D.C., and spent a gap year in Paris — where she perfected both her French and pastry skills — before settling in Harlem. She is a frequent columnist and recipe contributor to the New York Times.