With her elaborate gingerbread creations, which appear in the lobby of Sarasota's Ritz-Carlton every holiday season, Lyndsy McDonald has made a name for herself in Sarasota. Now, Food Network fans around the country know her name. Monday evening, McDonald was crowned the champion on the network's Halloween Baking Championship.
Along with the title, McDonald is taking home $25,000 and a spot in Food Network Magazine. McDonald left a lasting impression on the judges by whipping up a mousse layered with creepy critters and a petrifying "nightmare cake."
The chef surprised many when she swapped gingerbread and lemon drops for pumpkin spice and candy corn to compete on the program. McDonald told Sarasota Magazine that she was excited to represent Sarasota on national television. Halloween Baking Championship has been a seasonal staple of Food Network's lineup since 2015. Episodes are filled with contestants flipping muffin trays and torching sugar. They are still airing on the Food Network and can also be binge-watched online.