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Self-Taught Katy Chef Wins Food Network Baking Show


December 27, 2022

By Natalie Cook Clark

Hemlata Basumatary, who goes by Hemu Basu, is a Katy chef and cooking show TV star. She’s the owner of a Katy bakery and has stared on 4 major network cooking shows. Basu ends 2022 as the Food Network’s The Big Bake champion.

All photos courtesy of Hemu Basu.

Hemu Basu has always loved to cook, but her love and talent for baking was rekindled in 2012 when she was inspired to bake a firetruck birthday cake for her son’s birthday. She went to a Katy library and went through all the cookbooks specific to baking for ideas.

“I decided to make a fire truck cake for my baby, and was very excited how it turned out,” says Hemu Basu.

That experience rekindled her love to create and launched a career. Her impressive career includes a bakery and two TV cooking show championship titles.

Hemu launched a bakery in 2013, when her family lived in Aberdeen, a small city in Scotland. Then her husband was transferred to Houston.

“The fear of restarting was stressful, but I was happy because I knew I would get more exposure, and more opportunities,” says Hemu.

Hemu opened her home-based Katy bakery, The Sweet Sensation, in 2015. She specializes in cakes and cupcakes for all occasions and works with clients to meet custom requests.

“Katy has given me so much, I love my clients they know my potential and they always ask for exciting cakes,” says Basu.

Some recent cake work included a replica of a beloved pet dog, a shoe cake, handbag, and oil rig cake just to name a few.

“I’ve done a working whiskey barrel cake and you can dispense the whiskey from the cake right,” says Basu.

Learn more about Hemu's Sweet Sensation here.

In 2019 Basu starred in her first TV cooking competition show, The Food Network’s Wedding Cake Championship. She impressed judges and fans alike with her impressive skill and intricate cake designs. A Big accomplishment for a self-taught bakery chef.

Her cooking show credits include: The Wedding Cake Championship (runner-up) and Halloween Wars (bakes on the winning team) both with The Food Network. She was a finalist on Is It Cake? On Netflix and most recently her team one on the Food Network’s The Big Bake.

On The Big Bake, Basu was part of a team that included Joel (a pastry chef specializing in chocolate and sugar sculpting), and Kim (a 3D modeling expert who designs cakes for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks).

Their winning cake was inspired by their real-life team member Chef Joel. The theme was “naughty or nice.”

“We chose to be naughty,” says Basu. “When Joel was a kid he drew all over her babysitter and on the sofa.”

Basu loves to inspire other chefs.

“If I can do it then you can definitely do it,” says Hemu.

Hemu’s Recipe for Baking Success

  • Practice, practice, practice.

  • Stay organized and plan ahead.

  • Join Cake Decorating Groups on Facebook.

  • Patience is the key.

  • Never be afraid of failures.

While the shows she has baked on are popular, her biggest fan base cheers from her Katy home.

“My son asks me for royalty as it all started from his cake,” says Basu. “My kids always ask me to make crazy cool cakes and they often give me ideas, especially my daughter, she’s a senior and she’s going to do fine arts.”

When not baking, Basu and her family love getting out in Katy. They loving watching movies at AMC Katy Mills. They also love exploring LaCenterra and eating at their favorite restaurant, Ginger Thai.

Her baking never really stops, especially around the holidays when she loves to make rum fruit cakes and almond cakes for family and friends.

“We love everything about Katy,” says Basu. “It’s peaceful, safe, joyful, and a good school for kids and my lovely clients.”


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