The Truth About Adam Monette From Holiday Baking Championship Season 8

The holiday season has officially begun, because the Food Network's "Holiday Baking Championship" series is back — and the first episode of the brand-new Season 8 is already set to air on November 1! According to IMDb, last year's "Holiday Baking Championship" season featured creations like decorated bread wreaths, pie-cookie mash-ups, macaron holiday trees, and Hanukkah donuts. So, we can't wait to see how they top that with the festive creativity from this year's group of talented bakers. 

The 12 contestants on Season 8 hail from 11 different states, and the group includes pastry chefs, home bakers, chocolatiers, and bakery owners (via Food Network). One of them will go home not only with the title of Holiday Baking Champion, but with a very merry prize of $25,000. A contestant vying for the finale is Chef Adam Monette who lives in St. Albans, Vermont, a city situated in the northwestern corner of the state and a stone's throw from the Canadian border, according to Here's everything to know about Monette, a chef with a passion for the holidays — and for teaching.

Adam Monette grew up appreciating family and simple foods

In his bio on the Food Network "Holiday Baking Championship" website, Adam Monette shares that he lives and works in the small city of St. Albans, Vermont with his wife and their two young children. Monette says he and his family are always excited for the holidays — in fact, his whole brood loves this time of year so much that his father keeps the Christmas tree up the entire year! This passion for the holiday season will certainly give him a boost of motivation when creating festive bakes for the "Holiday Baking Championship" judging panel featuring Duff Goldman, Carla Hall, and Nancy Fuller. 

In an interview with the St. Albans Messenger newspaper, Monette said that, while growing up, there were times when there wasn't a lot of food to put on the table, but that sitting down to a meal together was something his family always made time for, with everyone enjoying cooking dishes inspired by French-Canadian cuisine. Through their ingenuity there was always enough food at every meal for the entire extended family. "I was always impressed," he said. "Nothing too fancy, but it was always good and everybody got full."  

He attended the same culinary school as Alton Brown

In an interview with the St. Albans Messenger newspaper in his hometown, Adam Monette appears modest about how his culinary career began, sharing that he "tripped" into cooking. His first restaurant job was at the age of 14 when he chopped onions and did other prep work in the kitchen of a tourist-favorite spot called Smuggler's Notch Resort in Jeffersonville, Vermont. After high school, faced with either enlisting in the military or getting a job, his mother helped him find work at a local bakery, and Monette stayed at the business for more than four years, learning baking and cooking techniques and growing his passion for food. Monette's acceptance into culinary school came as a surprise to him too — mostly because his then-girlfriend sent in the application without telling him! 

That school was the now-closed New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, the same school where "Good Eats" host Alton Brown earned his culinary degree, according to Burlington Free Press. Monette shared that he lived "out of his truck with his dog" while he studied at NECI, and eventually earned degrees in baking, pastry arts, and culinary arts. After getting his degrees, Monette stayed on for several years at NECI as a teaching fellow. 

Monette once took part in a prestigious international cooking competition

In 2017, Adam Monette received a huge surprise: An invitation to a renowned cooking competition in Paris, France. Monette shared with the St. Albans Messenger that he received a call from Chef Jean-Louis Gerin, then-president of the U.S. delegation to the Academie Culinaire de France. This culinary academy hosts the biannual Trophée Passion, where chefs from across the world compete to create multiple, expert-level dishes and garnishes in only five hours, per the article.

When Monette was approached by Jean-Louis Gerin (who, according to his official website is a James Beard Award-winning restaurateur and former Vice President of Culinary Operations at the New England Culinary Institute), Monette said, "I was very humbled by it, and I was curious why it was me, out of everybody in the U.S. because there's a lot of great chefs." 

Despite the legendary intensity of the competition, Monette didn't hesitate to accept the invitation and put his skills to the test. On his Instagram page, he shared that he placed 4th in the end. We think that's pretty impressive — and yet, Monette was humble about his achievement. "Not my best work," he wrote, "but I learned from it, had a great experience and made friends!"

Adam Monette shares his culinary passion with the next generation of great chefs

Today, Adam Monette shares his passion and knowledge for cooking with local high school students. According to the St. Albans Messenger, Monette is a culinary instructor at the Northwest Career & Technical Center in the town in Vermont, and it's here that students get their first lessons in creating modern cuisine. The website for the technical center shares that students as young as sophomores can begin their culinary training with Monette, learning everything from knife skills to cooking basics, pastry arts to restaurant management. Last year, Monette brought a team of students to a town event highlighting locally-produced meats and cheeses, and offered samples of pork belly cured for a day-and-a-half using sous vide pressure cooking (via St. Albans Messenger). 

From being tested on an international stage to continually honing his skills and broadening his perspective with every student he teaches, it seems Monette is well positioned to impress the judges with all of his festive bakes on "Holiday Baking Championship." And he has an inspiring attitude about embracing every opportunity that comes his way. "Somebody offered me something and I said yes and I gave it a try," he shares. "Everything else has paid off so far, so I feel like at this point I can't say no to anything." There's no doubt that Monette's students will be watching this new season of "Holiday Baking Championship" to cheer on their chef instructor!