The Truth About Team Elves Without A Claus From Holiday Wars: Season 3

Host Maneet Chauhan and judges Shinmin Lee and Aarti Sequeria are joining viewers this holiday season for the third edition of "Holiday Wars" on Food Network. "Holiday Wars" offers small groups of bakers the chance to win $25,000 over a series of team challenges. The creative themes include festive requests like "When the Elves Call in Sick" and "Intergalactic Holidays," which require these teams of three to use all of their skills and innovation in the hopes of wowing the celebrity judges. 

Team Elves Without a Claus is a collection of talented women chefs who have experience cooking and baking a diverse range of dishes all over the world. Drawing from their own backgrounds as well as their vast imaginations, these pastry experts should both entertain and surprise the judges — a tough task when working with "Chopped" and "Iron Chef" alum Chauhan. Discover the story behind these talented pastry chefs and baking experts as you watch at home.

Erica Lee, Executive Pastry Chef

Born and raised in Korea, Erica Lee mentored under an extensive and impressive list of cooking greats before finding a home as the Executive Pastry Chef at Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta (via the Four Seasons Press Room). Beginning with family cooking and a start at the Vancouver Community College in British Columbia, she moved on to study at the The French Pastry School in Chicago. After graduation, Lee mentored under greats like Charlie Trotter in Chicago and at Gordon Ramsay's The London New York City before opening restaurants of her own in Korea and eventually returning to North America to work at the Four Seasons in Toronto, and then Atlanta.

Lee's sugary creations reflect a bold style that's also delicate and detailed, and include themed game day footballs, breakable chocolate peaches, and delicate florals adorned with fresh fruit (via Instagram). An example of her innovation can be found in the description of one dessert on her Instagram, entitled "Breakable Chocolate Dunkin' Coffee Cup." As Lee cleverly notes, the "house-made chocolate truffle on the top of the chocolate coffee cup looks like munchkins from Dunkin', right?"

Bekah Ontiveros of Hive Bake Shop

Rebekah "Bekah" Ontiveros is part of the team behind Hive Bakeshop, which she runs with her with sibling Sally in Brunswick, Maryland. Ontiveros originally trained in English Literature and worked in Early Childhood Education; baking was a career switch for her. Baking was not, however, a new passion, as her and sister Sally battled each other in "Iron Chef"-style competitions as children and were heavily inspired by the "international and diverse foodie scene in Anchorage, Alaska."

Inspired by her travels to locations like Egypt, Italy, France, and Mexico, this dynamic duo has also been featured on Netflix, Martha Stewart, and Better Homes & Gardens. Ontiveros shares her playful and adventurous attitude frequently on Instagram, including love for her favorite pup Kelso. As one commenter on Instagram put it, "Your food adventures are making me jealous." Expect diversity and culinary innovation from Bekah Ontiveros on this season of "Holiday Wars."

Aleatra Dimitrijevski of Cake Witch Craft

Aleatra Dimitrijevski's signature dessert is a Cake-wich, so much so that she created a business centered around it: Cake Wich Craft. As her website describes it, cake-wich is "Like 'sandwich'...But cake." Dimitrijevski is an experienced baker and businesswoman whose mission is to help "high school youth" succeed by hosting fundraisers to support endeavors like their Cupcake Dreams DC Scholarship, which supports students at the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. Lifting others up is a key theme for Dimitrijevski, and it's made all the sweeter with her extensive menu of cakes, cupcakes, waffle cones, and more.

Dimitrijevski also has some kind words about both her experience on "Holiday Wars" and her teammates on the show. "I am so incredibly grateful to have taken this journey and getting to know these 2 women.." she wrote on Instagram. "@chefericalee you have such an amazing spirit. You radiate grace. I learned so much from you and am so grateful to have met and worked with you along the way. @hivebakeshop Bekahhhh! You are incredible and fierce. I admire your fortitude, wit and humor... Not to mention your a badass cake artist and I'm so happy we were teammates!"