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Two tween Knoxville bakers advance to top 5 on Food Network's 'Kids Baking Championship'

Sarah Patel, 11, and Nadya Alborz, 11, have both been baking for as long as they can remember and are ready to take their skills to the next level on TV.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Do you like baking?

Think you could do it on a baking competition show?

That's what two Knoxville girls are doing right now as they compete on the Food Network show 'Kids Baking Championship.' As of Feb. 8, both made it into the top 5.

Nadya Alborz, 11, and Sarah Patel, 11, are no strangers to baking.

"I really started getting in the kitchen with my mom when I was about like three years old," said Nadya.

"I've been baking ever since I was like three or four," said Sarah.

Impressive, right?

But they were strangers to each other until they both met on the set of one of their favorite TV shows.

Nadya and Sarah were both selected to compete on season 10 of the Food Network show 'Kids Baking Championship,' which films in Knoxville.

Credit: Food Network
Nadya Alborz, left, and Sarah Patel, right, on the set of 'Kids Baking Championship.'

"It's kind of crazy," said Nadya. 'It's like, there're bright lights, and it's really pretty. There are cameras everywhere and a pantry stocked with everything you need."

"Like I had to remind myself that it was not a dream and that I was there," said Sarah.

Sarah's favorite thing to bake is cookies, and Nadya's favorite is either cupcakes or mini cheesecakes.

We'll take some of each, please.

But on the show, they're baking a lot more than their usual staples.

Episode one's challenge was butterfly cakes.

"The first episode I made a henna butterfly cake that was raspberry flavored with lemon buttercream," said Sarah.

That also included chocolate flowers with raspberries in the middle.

Episode two's challenge was 'everything but the kitchen sink' desserts.

"I made a mini cheesecake with a pretzel crust, a chocolate swirl on the top and a pretzel and potato chip crumble," said Nadya.

That also included Za'atar popcorn, which is a Middle Eastern spice blend.

And yeah, they do actually have a time limit with a buzzer and everything, just like you see on TV.

"It's definitely stressful, but it's also really fun," said Nadya. "Sometimes I like to set a timer for myself in the kitchen and see how long it takes me to bake something because I sometimes feel like I'm back on the set again and it's really cool."

The winner of 'Kids Baking Championship' will win $25,000 and be featured in Food Network Magazine.

But the girls said their biggest takeaways aren't the prizes.

"It was so cool to meet other kids with the same passion that I have," said Sarah. "I thought it was amazing just for the friendship part of it, too."

Making friends and meeting the hosts, Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldman.

"It was kind of like my dream come true," said Nadya. "Seeing them on TV and in the cookbooks and then now really getting to meet them and actually bake for them is super cool."

'Kids Baking Championship' airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on Food Network and Discovery+.