Fresh off her victory in the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship series, Julianna Jung will be offering up a special holiday treat for the Champaign-Urbana community as she steps out to engage with fans for the first time this week.
East Central Illinois’ newest celebrity will be meeting and greeting locals at Urbana’s Caffe Paradiso on Tuesday, Dec. 29 and Wednesday, Dec. 30 from 10 am to 5 pm both days.
Caffe Paradiso’s Facebook page hints that fans will be able to meet Julianna and taste some of her famous creations.
Jung posted more details about the event on her Instagram story, including the menu. She said all proceeds from the event will be going to Champaign’s Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, an entirely volunteer run organization that feeds 200 people a hot meal every day.
Treats Jung will be bringing will include:
– Banana Bread covered in Dark Chocolate and Buttercream
– Cardamom Cupcake with honey buttercream (she made a cardamom cake on the show)
– London Fog Macaron Tree
Prices were not posted. Items are limited, she said. (Our unsolicited advice: get there early!)
In an extensive interview with chambanamoms.com published earlier this month, Jung hinted that she would be interested in collaborating with local businesses and bakeries – so the announcement she will be at Caffe Paradiso comes as no surprise.
Jung, a self-described “home baker,” beat out 11 others vying for the title of Holiday Baking Champion. The show, which wrapped up with its dramatic finale on Dec. 21, is one of the most iconic Food Network competitions.
If you haven’t seen the show and are wondering what all the fuss is all about — don’t fret. At this writing, all eight full episodes are still available on the Food Network website to be streamed (and are probably available on other streaming services, as well.)
Jung — who is a graduate student working on her master’s degree in health administration and who works as a product manager for Health Alliance in Champaign — does not have her own baking business and doesn’t work at a local bakery. She mainly bakes for the benefit of her family and friends – and as a great stress reliever.
Having completed filming during the summer, Jung had to keep the results from her participation in the show under wraps for more than five months. Now she’s able to step out and talk about the show, and all that it entailed.
Caffe Paradiso seems to be a magnet for celebrity appearances in our community. Former President Barack Obama stopped by the popular Urbana coffee shop when he visited the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus to deliver a speech in September 2018.
For more about Julianna Jung’s next steps, follow her on Instagram at @cakedupjourney.
If you go: Caffe Paradiso is located at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and West Nevada in Urbana. The cafe has a tiny parking lot with free parking; ample metered street parking is available. Don’t forget your masks; all food is still grab and go.