Creative Child

How Holiday Baking Champion Jackson Fujimori Learned Perseverance Through Baking

by Deborah Song


“A lot of [the contestants] had enjoyed making macarons. We always talked about how I want to make macarons but the time never really came until the finale,” said Jackson. “But I was rushed. So they didn't turn out. I dumped them and made another type of cookie.” 

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Jackson didn’t win. Even though Jackson wasn’t named Kids Holiday Baking Champion, he went home and practiced his macarons. Jackson wasn’t asked to return to the Food Network at this point. But he remained determined to master the art of making macarons, something he wanted to do for himself.

“I definitely practiced a lot in between [shows],” said Jackson. “By the time the Holiday Baking Championship came around, macarons were one of the things I probably made the most.”

When Jackson was asked to return to the Food Network two years later, this time for the Holiday Baking Championship, Jackson was macaron-ready. Jackson paired with Jason Smith, a chef known for his southern bent, and the two impressed the judges with their array of creative and decadent desserts. One of the standout items was Jackson’s macarons, which judge Duff said were “spot on.” Jackson and chef Jason, were crowned Holiday Baking Champions and together awarded $10,000.

“Redemption!” Jackson can be heard saying during his victory monologue. The hefty pot was certainly a nice reward, especially for a teenager. But in baking, Jackson discovered something he loved to do win or lose, the true cherry on top.


Deborah Song is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master's in journalism from New York University. She is the founder of, and is passionate about helping parents find better work-life balance and proper support through community.

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