Scary good: South Shore baker to appear on Food Network's 'Halloween Baking Championship'

Dana Barbuto
The Patriot Ledger

The devil is in the dessert for Carver pastry chef Steven Sechoka. 

Sechoka, a 2005 graduate of Carver High School, is one of 10 bakers to compete on Season 7 of "Halloween Baking Championship," premiering at 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, on the Food Network.

The series, one of several Halloween-themed shows on the Food Network, aims to crown the best baker of creepy cupcakes, killer crepes and other spine-chilling confections. The winner receives $25,000.

Steven Sechoka, a 2005 graduate of Carver High, will be one of 10 bakers to compete on the Food Network's "Halloween Baking Championship," starting Sept. 13.

In each episode, the bakers are tasked with creating terrifying yet tasty Halloween-styled desserts under deadline pressure. This season’s theme is 1980s slasher movies (think: “Friday the 13th,” “Nightmare on Elm Street”). One contestant is eliminated at the end of each episode while the others take their cauldrons and move on to the next challenge.

“It was super-intense,” Sechoka said. “I took a lot of deep breaths and drank a ton of water.”

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Sechoka, however, is used to springing into action, especially when his wife, Lindsay, might have a craving for something like bananas foster.

“It’s dangerous the things I can whip up at a moment’s notice late at night,” he said.

That skill served him well at Camp Devil’s Food Lake, the ghoulish fictional setting of “Halloween Baking Championship.”  Sechoka must remain tight-lipped about the details and outcome, but he said the show was filmed “somewhere down South last spring.” He can’t reveal much about what he baked, only to say it was “not quite traditional Halloween, it was more monsters and stuff.”

Contestants on past seasons have created elaborate vampire buffets, haunted house cakes, Halloween candy croquembouche and 3-D doll cakes.

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Sechoka earned a spot on the “Halloween Baking Championship” after a producer contacted him. Next came some “home bakes” and “then they cast me.”

The show is not Sechoka’s first time on camera. While a student at Carver High, he hosted a show for foodies on local-access cable television called “What’s Cooking.” He also cooked in the Boy Scouts, earning many culinary achievements. 

“My whole life I knew I wanted to be a chef or an artist and being a pastry chef, I can combine the two,” Sechoka said. "I've always loved food and I've always loved eating." 

Sechoka got his first restaurant job when he was 15, working as a prep cook at now-closed seafood eatery, The Wave in Marion.  After high school he studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and has worked as a both a pastry chef and executive chef with the Ritz-Carlton, Boston University and Aramark. 

“Pastry is my specialty,” Sechoka said. 

With the “Halloween Baking Championship” wrapped, Sechoka and his wife are starting The Happy Confection, a marijuana edible business for people on restricted diets, such as vegan, gluten and sugar free.

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Episodes of “Halloween Baking Championship” will air at 9 p.m. Mondays on the Food Network. Judges are Stephanie Boswell, Carla Hall and Zac Young. Comedian John Henson hosts.

Win or lose, Sechoka said the best part of the competition was meeting “really cool chefs from around the country.”

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Reach Dana Barbuto at dbarbuto@patriotledger.com