By Laura Levering, Fort Gordon Public Affairs OfficeJanuary 6, 2017
FORT GORDON, Ga. -- One Army child's passion for baking has landed him a spot on a popular television network and a chance at winning $25,000.
Dylin Musgrove, son of Maj. Jason Musgrove, Cyber Protection Brigade, and Cat Musgrove of Grovetown, Georgia, made his debut Monday on the third season of the Food Network's "Kids Baking Championship." The show was the first of 10 episodes to be aired this season.
Dylin, 13, said his love for baking began a few years ago while his family was stationed in Italy, during which time his mom started a family cupcake business, Dolce Darlin'.
Dylin and his 14-year-old sister, Danee, who are homeschooled, often helped their mother in the kitchen, which in itself was a challenge. Italian kitchens, they said, are different from their American counterparts, equipped with a small refrigerator and oven that allows for just one 12-count pan of cupcakes at a time.
"People didn't really have the means and in a lot of cases the ability to [bake] that kind of stuff from home," Cat explained.
But the kids dove in, helping their mom with everything from folding boxes to placing the finishing touches on baked goods.
"They've got some really good intuition for baking and what things look like," Cat said. "Anytime that I'm baking and they're not doing school work or are outside, they're with me."
Over time, Dolce Darlin' became well known in the Army community and the business grew, even as they settled into their next duty station, Fort Gordon, Georgia. Now the family is becoming well known around the world.
In early 2016, Dylin was contacted over social media by a casting agent from the show. After an application process and series of interviews, he was selected as a contestant.
He and his mom were flown to Los Angeles, where the show was filmed over the summer. Contract agreements have them sworn them to secrecy so as to not ruin the outcome of the competition for anyone, but Dylin called appearing on the show the experience of a lifetime.
"It was awesome," Dylin said. "With the amount of cameras, I was a little intimidated, but everyone was so nice."
The series premiered with a challenge that called upon contestants to create cupcakes with a carnival theme. About halfway through the challenge, the young bakers were thrown for a twist in the form of an unanticipated ingredient they had to incorporate.
For Dylin, that meant topping his lemon frosted lemon cupcake with kettle corn. Despite the unfavorable set of ingredients, Dylin handled it without the slightest sign of pressure. In the end, he impressed the judges enough to make it to the next round.
After waiting several months for the show to air, Dylin said, he was nervous yet excited to see himself on TV and watch the final product of the show's first taping.
"I was in shock and in awe. It was amazing," Dylin said. "I was so excited and happy with it."
Dylin now looks forward to watching next week's episode and hopes others will tune in.
MORE THAN A BAKER …
Branching out from Dolce Darlin', Dylin and Danee Musgrove have launched their own business, Little Darlin's, with the help of mom and dad. Just like Dolce Darlin', the siblings operate out of the family kitchen and bake treats, but treats of a different kind. Their customers are pet owners.
Their mom, Cat, joked that Dylin, an avid dog lover, "would, most of the time, trade people for a dog."
Dylin said he plans to use his brief time on television for the greater good. He hopes to bring awareness to programs like Veterans K-9 Solutions, a local nonprofit organization that rescues and trains dogs as service animals, then pairs them with veterans in need.
"He realizes that being on the show isn't going to make him famous but, rather, recognized in the local community," Cat said.
"We are a family that is very blessed, so we try to give back wherever we can, and he wants to spend the time that people recognize his face ... raising money and awareness for this organization."
The next episode of Kids Baking Championship is scheduled to air Monday at 8 p.m. EST.