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Carlisle appears on Food Network

By Michael Butler

Mary Katherine Carlisle was in the running for the "Worst Baker in America." She was the runner-up, but that doesn't mean she's second worst.

Carlisle, who lives in Tallassee, became a contestant on the Food Network show and barely missed the $25,000 cash prize. The five-episode series took three weeks to shoot in New York.

"I applied almost two years ago. I saw an ad for worst cooks, so I sent in a video detailing how bad I am," Carlisle said. "My senior year in high school I literally caught our kitchen on fire. Our microwave was melting down into our stove. I heard nothing until April of this year.

"It filmed in Queens. We did not go out and see the sights. We were working from like 7:30 (in the morning) to 8 at night. We got Sundays off. We did do some group activities. We were either interviewing or baking."

After recording the show, Carlisle could not reveal to anyone the results until it aired.

"That liked to have killed me because I am not a secret keeper."

So what was the difference between placing second and winning?

"A lot of it was probably time management," she said. "There's so much pressure, cameras everywhere, producers asking questions and working against the clock. On my last baking challenge I forgot about my frosting in the refrigerator. I totally forgot it existed. By the time I remembered it was too late."

There were eight total contestants, so how about barely missing out on the $25 K?

"Such a bummer."

Photos courtesy of Food Network

Carlisle does believe she's stepped up her game in the kitchen, however.

"They wanted us to improve week by week. I'm better baking and cooking. Things I never knew anything about I learned."

Carlisle and her husband David have a two-year-old girl Ava Claire.

"When I got back, Ava Claire said, 'You're never leaving again?' Probably not - unless she can come with me."

Shows are archived on Amazon and YouTube TV.