The Truth About Dennis Van From Spring Baking Championship Season 8

The birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and the sun is out a bit longer. It's safe to say that the "Spring Baking Championship" is back. The popular baking show has returned for its eighth season, and, though the format of the competition may feel familiar, at least one notable change has sprouted already. According to Fan Sided, this season is hosted by the bubbly Molly Yeh of "Girl Meets Farm" fame. Joining Yeh will also be 12 new contestants, along with returning judges Kardea Brown, Nancy Fuller, and Duff Goldman.

One of this season's contestants, Dennis Van, grew up in a household that didn't even have sweets. According to the Food Network, Van is a self-taught baker who had to use his allowance money to purchase the ingredients necessary for those early baking experiments. Consider just how many ingredients $25,000 — the prize money at stake for winning the competition — could buy. Of course, Van has come a long way from funding his cooking with allowance money.

Dennis Van has won prize money on a cooking show before

According to the Food Network, Dennis Van is currently an executive pastry chef in Austin, Texas. Back in 2018, Austin Eater reported that while working at District Kitchen + Cocktails and Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar, Van partnered with the owner of both establishments, Amir Hajimaleki, to compete on Netflix's "Sugar Rush." With their sci-fi creations, including a zombie cupcake and an alien cake, the team won $10,000. Now that Van is flying solo on "Spring Baking Championship," only time will tell if he has what it takes to bring home the prize money once again.

Whether or not Van is the last baker standing, we already know he's used his time on the show to reach at least one important milestone. Per People, the pastry chef came out to his parents on the latest episode of the baking competition. "I'm not out to my parents," Van told Molly Yeh during a cooking competition, adding "They don't know I'm gay, but I'm not hiding it from them, but I'm not also fully embracing it, either." People reported that Yeh responded by thanking him for choosing the moment to share.

If you're catching a case of feel-good-baking FOMO, you can catch "Spring Baking Championship" on Mondays at 8/7 central on Food Network or streaming on Discovery Plus.