Karen Portaleo, lead cake decorator at Atlanta’s Highland Bakery, has been part of a team that made it to the big finale of the Food Network’s “Halloween Wars,” which aired Sunday night.
The team’s spooktacular creations have dazzled judges throughout the four-episode series but competition has been ghoulishly fierce.
So, did Karen and company win?
Her team, the “Bling Bats” actually stumbled early on, flubbing the first challenge with a design that seemed to confuse the judges. Rivals “Team Boo” took that one and seemed confident moving in to the final contest. Portaleo appeared pretty stressed throughout the episode and said during an on-camera interview that the idea of not winning was more than she could take.
Not to fear. Her team ultimately prevailed.
Judges loved both team’s designs but raved over Portaleo’s team’s confection, calling it daring, original and overwhelming (in a good way!)
“I’m kind of prepared for anything,” Portaleo said in the last on-camera interview before the verdict. She also confessed she had a tissue tucked away in case of defeat. But there were only happy tears.
“Winning ‘Halloween Wars’ is such an honor,” she said in a voice-over. “I know this experience will affect my work forever.”
Portaleo, who created a designer birthday cake for Jane Lynch this summer when the actress was here filming “The Three Stooges,” is in Hong Kong at the moment but sent us a celebratory message via email.
“The final challenge on ‘Halloween Wars’ was by far the most stressful but I was lucky enough to work with two incredible artists. By the end of a long, crazy, wild and exhausting day, we were the ones holding the champagne glasses…and a check for $50,000!”
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org