Gretel-Ann was defeated in the season finale of Next Great Baker. Now it’s time for Ashley to claim the prize: time to go to work for Cake Boss, and show up at Buddy’s Carlo’s Bakery.
Her first appearance is in the ‘Cowboy for Hoboken’ Tim McGraw episode. Tim McGraw’s Mom shows up to order a cake that represents Tim’s work donating houses to an active military family or a disabled veteran family at each stop on this tour.
“I definitely see potential in Ashley, but no matter where I put her, she’s going to have to start from the bottom, and earn her chops.”
He sends her to the baking room with the advice not to let the crew figure out how to push her buttons. She graduates into her white coat; but she still has Marissa to deal with… last season’s Next Great Baker…who isn’t too keen to cede her title.
Always one to stir the pot, Ashley says, “Only one person can hold the Next Great Baker title at a time, and right now it’s mine.”
Buddy’s head baker Joey is a little dubious. At the finale, he questioned her rationale for risking $100,000 just to tell Paul off in the last moments of the last episode.
Next up: the hazing begins. Ashley withstands multiple cream pies to the face.
“I wasn’t expecting a food fight on my first day at work,” Ashley says.
CleanUp and it’s back to Tim McGraw and another customer in need of a quinceanera cake.
Next episode: Marvel Comics. SpiderMan’s 50th birthday.
The problem is: Ashley is late for work and head baker Joey is not happy. “I don’t care how good you are. If you’re not here to do it, what good is it?” She doesn’t even have to come in at 6. She’s only due at 9. “I don’t have a problem with Ashley,” he says. “This is not a game. This is not playing for survival. This is teamwork. This is the real deal.”
She wanders in at lunch, confessing an irresponsible choice to go out the night before. Joey says he’s shocked. “This is my livelihood,” she says. “I don’t want to disrespect you as a boss.”
She says it was just a genuine mistake. Joe says he’ll move her out of the bakery if he needs to.
On to the next episode: chairs for an office furniture company gets a life size chair cake, and there’s a cake for the Momma Mary Foundation ALS Gala.
Buddy isn’t satisfied with Ashley’s efforts back at Carlo’s. Her cake slopes; Buddy’s is flat and straight. He sends hers home with her. She has to learn the difference between perfect and not perfect.
At the Gala, Al Roker takes the podium to say nice things about Momma. And then there’s a live auction of the desserts. Randy of Say Yes to the Dress takes the mic.
$265,000 raised. Momma takes the stage to sing her favorite song, “I Will Survive,” and Gloria Gaynor joins in.
It would’ve been a happy ending to the season finale had it not been for Hurricane Sandy. The season wraps up with a look into the basement, under water.
Next Great Baker: Season 3 episode recaps
What’s Next for Next Great Baker’s James Brown?
New Year’s Eve Hoboken Style special,
Next Great Baker Update on James Brown, post Brain Surgery