The Truth About Richard Akers-Barrows From Holiday Baking Championship Season 8

When you read about Richard Akers-Barrows, a competitor on "Holiday Baking Championship" Season 8, you learn two things: First, he has worked as a pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Boston. Second, he likes to bake for his husband, daughter, and grandson, according to the Food Network. While the quick bio on the network's "meet the competitors" article is accurate, it leaves most of Akers-Barrows' path to pastry success to the imagination.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Akers-Barrows had his first formal baking training in the '90s at The Murrell Dobbins Career and Technical Education High School, a vocational school located in North Philadelphia. Based on the school's website, the culinary arts program prepares students for restaurant work or culinary school. Akers-Barrows took the latter route, honing his baking skills at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, before moving to the Boston area. There, over the course of two decades, he has risen through the kitchen ranks to own a bakery and lead other pastry cooks. His résumé includes positions at leading hotel chains such as Westin and Sheraton.

What Akers-Barrows is up to now

Surely, Akers-Barrows' participation in the eighth season of "Holiday Baking Championship" will get him some well-deserved publicity. However, the pastry chef was moving further in his career even before joining the show. He recently scored a new job as a team lead pastry cook at the Langham Hotel in Boston, according to his LinkedIn and confirmed by The Patriot Ledger. According to the hotel's menu, you can enjoy cheesecake and tiramisu made by a Food Network-appearing chef if you pay a visit to the establishment.

However, Akers-Barrows has even loftier ambitions, which are spelled out quite clearly in his Instagram bio: "Boston area pastry chef with 20yrs+ experience, desiring to be a tv personality and a pastry shop owner." Among photos of his intricately plated pastries and sweets, he posted a video telling followers to tune into "Holiday Baking Championship," premiering November 1 on Food Network and the discovery+ streaming service. Perhaps you'll be seeing a lot more of the chef following his performance in the sugary competition.