Though officially from Murfreesboro, Jay Qualls Cakes is located in Nashville, and Qualls has produced wedding cakes for numerous country music stars including Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride and Hillary Scott. During last week's season premiere episode, which showed contestants' auditions, Qualls shared his personal story of weight gain and loss and coming to terms with his sexuality. The glimpse we got of his personality indicates he’ll be fun to watch.
Qualls previously competed on a Cake Boss spinoff, Next Great Baker (placing fourth), but he prepared a savory dish, a ginger pork dumpling to impress the Taste judges. However, his skill with cakes was probably a key factor in being chosen by three of the four judges to join their team, since pastry is something many chefs and home cooks tend not to practice. Of the judges who offered him a spot, Qualls chose to join Nigella Lawson’s team.
The Taste airs Thursdays at 7 p.m. on ABC, and this week's episode is the beginning of the real competition. You can follow Jay Qualls on Twitter and Facebook for some behind-the-scenes commentary and other news and learn more about his cakes on the company’s website.