The Untold Truth Of Crime Scene Kitchen Judge Yolanda Gampp

If you have the drive to do something, you can probably achieve it. At least that's how you're going to feel when you consider self-taught baker and cake artist Yolanda Gampp. She's set to appear as a judge on the new show, "Crime Scene Kitchen," premiering on May 26.

Gampp has always loved being in the kitchen. The talented baker told Sweety High in an interview that baking was a passion of hers even when she was a kid. Gampp explained that she baked an entire cake for the first time when she was only 13 years old. 

This was a special occasion as they were celebrating a family friend's 90th birthday. Gampp said, "I made her a sponge cake with lemon curd and buttercream and I dressed the top with fresh raspberries and a sugared rose from my mother's garden." She was a natural. Gampp's own father had established himself as a professional baker in Germany before moving to Canada, and so her family home was filled with his passion for baking.

She considered pursuing culinary arts

Gampp, as per Sweety High, originally considered getting into the world of food in general before narrowing her focus to the art of making desserts. She said, "As I got older, I thought I wanted to become a chef so I went to culinary school here in Toronto — but it turned out I didn't like cooking as much as I liked baking."

Gampp has definitely developed her set of preferences over the years. According to Parade, she has always loved food, but with the demands of set life, you won't find her in the kitchen much anymore. In a candid confession, she said, "I don't enjoy the act of cooking anymore, especially after long days filming in the kitchen, but, boy, do I love eating!" She has been very lucky in that department: Her dad and husband, both excellent in the kitchen, have always pampered her with dishes of every kind. One of Gampp's favorite dishes prepared by her husband? Pasta!

Initially, networks weren't sold on Gampp

According to Entrepreneur, Yolanda Gampp started her journey on television on the show, "Sugar Stars." This was exclusive to Food Network Canada and helmed by producers Connie Contardi and Jocelyn Mercer. Gampp was an important face on the show and got to show off her skills baking beautiful creations for special events. However, things went downhill pretty fast and the network let go of "Sugar Stars" after one season in 2012.

Contardi and Mercer tried to come up with new show pitches that focused on Gampp's work but didn't hear back from anyone for two years. They were taken aback and couldn't wrap their heads around the rejections. Contardi said, "None of the networks [we] were seeing what we were seeing about Yo. Jocelyn and I were just thinking, 'Are they crazy? She has these amazing skills, she's beautiful, she's authentic, she's likeable — how are they not seeing this?'"

They decided to come up with an alternative plan to help re-launch Gampp's career.

YouTube was an incredible platform for Gampp

Well, YouTube turned out to be a better platform for Yolanda Gampp to reach out to her audience — outside of network television. Per Entrepreneur, Gampp was already highly experienced when she started making videos for the platform, calling her channel, "How To Cake It." And she had a secret weapon: she wasn't just interested in baking pretty cakes, she went a step further and came up with cakes modeled on regular objects and food items. What made her try something like this? Well, Gampp told Sweety High that she wished to push herself. She said, "I moved away from standard cakes because I wanted to challenge myself. The first eye-catching novelty cake I made looked like a box of chocolates."

The YouTube channel grew quickly as more and more viewers got hooked by Gampp's intriguing videos. In fact, by 2017, they were so popular that they set up a second channel called "How To Cake It Step by Step." 

The original "How To Cake It" channel currently has over 4.35 million subscribers. Her popularity cannot be underestimated: She did so well for herself that in 2017, Forbes named her one of the top influencers in the food space. Her success has even led her back to TV, as a guest judge on shows like "Cake Wars," "Nailed It," and "Best Baker in America." Fox's new mystery-themed baking competition, "Crime Scene Kitchen," is Gampp's first time as a permanent judge, alongside Curtis Stone and host Joel McHale.

Filming was tough

Yolanda Gampp told Entrepreneur that every baking tutorial video is the result of an incredible amount of work. She explained that the filming process can easily end up taking two to four days from start to finish. However, Gampp and her team ensure that they film nearly every aspect of the process for their viewers to see. Gampp explained, "The only thing you don't see in our videos is the baking of the cake and when I make the buttercream."

The "How to Cake It" team has to be careful about noticing the little details and ensuring that they get everything on camera so that their viewers can follow along and understand the entire process. This means that Gampp cannot rehearse and has to be attentive. She said, "There's no time for practice unless I'm willing to give up the rest of my life." Also, Gampp thinks that even if she made the same cake twice, both would look different because she "makes these cakes by hand and they're all original."

Additionally, when it comes to brainstorming what kind of cakes to bake, Gampp revealed that it's a team effort. She told Sweety High, "We brainstorm together a lot to come up with cool cake ideas that relate to what is going on in the world, and we also get a ton of great ideas from our fans." Interestingly, they've never run out of ideas so far. That work seems to have paid off, with the channel winning a Webby Award back in 2016.

Yolanda Gampp has been fooled by her own creations

For a baker as talented as Yolanda Gampp, interesting anecdotes are easy to find. For instance, she told Parade that she managed to get fooled by one of the cakes that she baked herself. Gampp said, "I was once fooled by my own cake! Someone reposted my Popeye's Chicken Sandwich cake and I thought, that sandwich looks good!"

She also revealed that she once baked a cake that looked like a wine bottle for one of her clients who accidentally broke it while trying to pick it up. Yep, it looked that real! Gampp is proud of that one but is glad that she didn't have to witness her cake getting destroyed in seconds. On a different occasion, she baked an unusual wedding cake. She told Parade, "I also made a wedding cake that looked like a set of luggage, and let's just say it was poked and prodded by the guests. Why do people poke cake!?"