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Netflix baking show to feature RCBC faculty member

Diane Fehder loves to bake, teach and compete on reality TV competitions.

“One main thing I love is the people I meet on the show. It seems like a really big industry, but it’s actually rather small and connected, and supportive. I’ve developed some really nice relationships over the years with people all over the world,” said Fehder, of Cherry Hill, who teaches in Rowan College at Burlington County’s (RCBC) Culinary Arts program and has become a regular reality TV chef.

“I love that my daughters see this experience, and it shows them that I’m more than just their mommy. Don't get me wrong, it's the best job in the world. But it teaches them that if you work hard to pursue your goals, then you can do anything you put your mind to,” Fehder continued. “I also think that for my customers and students, it takes me from ‘regular local baker’ to ‘national pastry chef.’"

Fehder, who began teaching baking at RCBC this fall, will appear on Netflix’s Christmas edition of Sugar Rush during which professional bakers face-off in a timed competition for a $10,000 grand prize. Fehder has competed twice before on the Food Network – Halloween Wars and Sugar Dome, which she won in 2013.

It all started when she was the executive pastry chef at a local wedding venue. Those casting for Sugar Dome saw pictures of her cakes online and recruited her for the show. Six years later, Fehder was eager to participate in the Christmas-themed edition of Sugar Rush, which will begin streaming on Friday, Nov. 29. Although she knows who wins the contest (which she has to keep a secret), she has no idea how she will come across on the show.

 “I’m going to watch it with everybody else, so I’m not sure how I’m going to be portrayed,” said Fehder, who has a viewing party scheduled with her closest friends. “I’m going to find out like everybody else.”

With a grand diplome in pastry from the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) in New York City, Fehder has spent the last decade as a professional pastry chef and has transitioned into the role of teacher both at RCBC and at local adult and family community classes, which adds a new passion to her love of baking.

“I feel like you need to be able to be good at your craft in order to teach -- pastry arts in my case -- but I learned that in order to teach, you need a whole other skill set. For instance writing lesson plans, good communication skills, recipe creation and time management.” Fehder said. “I have really been enjoying teaching, my students have been amazing, and I look forward to the next semester.”