Jenn Hall

Edible Jersey: In the Kitchen with Buki Elegbede

The wild ride that is Baked by Buki began as a fluke. Newark resident Buki Elegbede’s older sister, Anu, asked him to bake cookies for her holiday party, circa five or six years back. She was well aware that he knew his way around a bake tray.

“I did, and they were delicious,” Buki recounts. “Then . . . she called again.” In short order, he was her go-to boutique baker for all things sweet and festive, from spooky Halloween cookies to Christmas cupcakes.

For most people, that would have been the end of it, a sweet side hustle to accompany the CBS and Fios1 alum’s day job in media. Spend a little time in Buki’s world, however, and you realize that this charming 31-yearold is not most people. A word-of-mouth labor of love evolved into a series on Create TV when he landed the top spot in the 2017 Create TV Cooking Challenge.

The spark was a bit of synchronicity, plus a whoopie pie recipe that turned the heads of judges including Lidia Bastianich, Sara Moulton and Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster from America’s Test Kitchen. We caught up with Buki to discuss life in the kitchen on-air and off.

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Published in the Holiday 2019 issue

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