Why Thomas From Crime Scene Kitchen Looks So Familiar

The most intriguing cooking show this summer might have been Fox's "Crime Scene Kitchen," which turned the expected baking show formula on its head: Instead of being told what to make, the baking teams had to deduce the dessert from clues left behind in the kitchen (via Guilty Eats). Crumbs were scrutinized, parchment paper sniffed, and trash cans searched as the contestants worked backward to identify, then recreate the mystery desserts. Viewers got to noodle through the clues and learn more about these home and professional bakers from across the country, who competed as teams of two to vie for a $100,000 prize. As described by YouTuber Sarah Z, there were best friends, spouses, military veterans, and moms baking alongside their children. 

While this show marked the first appearance on a network baking competition for most of these bakers, a couple have been on camera before. According to Tennessee newspaper Williamson Source, fans of the USA Network reality show "Chrisley Knows Best" might recognize contestant Lori Burch from an episode where Chrisley family members head to Burch's bakery, the now-closed Crumb De La Crumb, for a cake decorating tutorial. And there's one other "Crime Scene Kitchen" baker who may have looked familiar to national viewers: Thomas McCurdy, who had previously appeared on a Food Network competition show. 

Here's where we first saw Thomas' skills and quick thinking

Thomas McCurdy appeared in Season 1 of Food Network's "Chopped Sweets" in the spring of 2020 and won the episode "Dessert For Breakfast" (via Seven Days). McCurdy was well-known at his local Vermont farmer's markets for gorgeous pastries and cakes created at Ardelia Farms, which he owns with his husband, and "Chopped Sweets" allowed a national audience to see McCurdy's baking skills and creativity first hand. He blew away the judges, Gesine Bullock-Prado and Matt Adlard (via IMDb), with dishes like the floating island. The desserts were created with unusual ingredients from the "Chopped" mystery boxes, like breakfast burritos, Marmite, and spicy cotton candy.

Chefs on "Chopped Sweets" have to quash indecision and move quickly to finish their dishes in time, and this experience very likely helped McCurdy and his mom, teammate Cathy Jacobsen, make it to the finale of "Crime Scene Kitchen." There, bakers had only minutes to examine the kitchen clues and decide what they would bake (via the Sarah Z YouTube channel). The time to make the final desserts was also limited, leaving contestants no space for waffling. So when will we see McCurdy on TV next? He's teased the idea of having his own show, particularly "some Martha Stewart-'Pioneer Woman'-type programming where it's just me doing my own thing." He told Seven Days that if a producer was on board with this idea, "I would say 'yes' in a heartbeat."