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Altoona Area alumnus and pumpkin carver Anthony Pater poses on the set of The Food Network’s “Halloween Wars.”Photo provided

Altoona Area High School alumnus Anthony Pater spent the summer painting children’s caricatures at the Juniata Memorial Spray Park, and on September 18th he made what he calls his debut. “The Coolest Halloween Show”

Peter auditioned “Halloween War” In November 2021, he was not allowed to tell anyone about his participation in the Food Network show. The show, which is entering its 12th season, will end on October 30th. The top team will receive a grand prize for a trip to Paris.

As members of Team Eerie Eats, Pater is a pumpkin carver, Andrea Vacek of Billings, Montana is a baker, and Cesar Barachina of Coppell, Texas is a sugar artist.

Pater, who posted about the show on Facebook, said he was the youngest player of the season.

“I can’t wait to show the country what I have.” he posted.

Anthony Pater (middle) is a pumpkin carver, Andrea Vacek (left) is a baker, and Cesar Barachina is a sugar artist as members of Team Eerie Eats in this season’s Halloween Wars. The team won their first challenge on the reality show airing Sunday on the Food Network.Photo provided

He was told by judge Shin Ming Lee that he had a baby face, he posted.

“Babyface or not, it’s a true dream come true and I’m so grateful for this opportunity and what it means to move forward.”

“Halloween War” Twenty-seven experts compete in teams of three to win the grand prize. At the September 18th show, with just three teams competing, one team was eliminated from the competition. With one team each eliminated in his first three qualifying rounds, according to the show’s website, his remaining six teams will face off for the first time on October 2.

At 20, Pater is one of the youngest contestants to ever compete. “Halloween Wars” I also missed my first two weeks of classes at the University of Edinboro, an animation student, because filming began in mid-January.

The reality show features baking and carving challenges, but filming the show itself was a challenge, as the episodes were taped back-to-back over several weeks. Sometimes I worked six days a week.

Anthony Pater and Ellie Eats team member Andrea Vachek poses with the team’s winning film while filming “Halloween Wars” in January.Photo provided

“We pushed our way through the whole season.” He said. “Once we finished filming one episode, we started preparing for the next one.”

Viewers see only snippets of content, but

It’s a 7 hour challenge, but in reality it takes longer to shoot each episode, often 10 to 12 hours. , contestants were quarantined when not filming.

“In these rooms you can decompress, use your phone, or take a break to eat.” He said. “We started each day with a hearty buffet breakfast, but it spoiled us all.”

Then again he said, “This comes from a kid who survived on ramen and college cafeteria food.”

in an interview at “Billings Gazette” Vacek also says that filming was difficult.

15 hours a day set with her teammates “Tough, the hardest thing ever” The owner of Bluebird Suites, a handcrafted cake boutique in Billings, said:

After years of being asked to enter a bread contest, she filled out an application “Halloween War” and was selected as a contestant.

“Halloween has always been my favorite holiday.” she told Billings. “This is a real day when people can reveal their personal quirks.”

Filming took place in Park City, Utah rather than Los Angeles, with no studio audience. Instead of an on-set host, the show will feature “Ghost Adventures” Zach Bagans as the host, appearing through pre-recorded audio and video.

Peter said he wished Bagan or former host Jonathan Bennett were there in person. “But the judges were all very friendly and funny.”

He also praised the efforts of his fellow contestants, saying they and the producers were friendly and fun to work with.

Teammate Barachina posted on his Facebook page that he worked on the show with all the other contestants. “It’s really ( ) an honored and humbling experience.”

Peter, he said, the team’s “Very talented pumpkin carver and seasonal baby.”

Peter said he couldn’t stop even after hours in front of the camera.

“In fact, I was always excited to throw pumpkin guts at the cameraman and make jokes.” he said sarcastically. “End the day with a reality show, not an inaugural address. Why not live and enjoy the ups and downs of the Halloween spirit?”

Pater could only speak to the episode that aired on September 18, and said there were serious problems with the structure of his team. “I was terribly afraid that I would not survive the night.”

He said the team works well together and they all “I slammed my food onto that 3-by-3-foot riser to get something finished and ready for presentation.”

There is also an opportunity to handle modeling chocolate, “By the way, it was really fun.”

He said Barachina and Vacek were great people to work with on set and offset.

“César is a veteran of the show and imparts all kinds of culinary wisdom (this is his third time competing). Andrea has become a particularly good friend in my personal life .” He said.

Pater said he was worried about the end result of the first shoot, as the team cut the piece in half to preserve it structurally and compositionally, and the sugar butterfly mask Barachina made broke.

“By all means, it shouldn’t have been our day.” He said.

make connections

participate as a whole “Halloween War” It was thrilling, said Peter.

“Learning how to work with a producer, how to get things done by a certain deadline, and how to work with complete strangers to create a cohesive design was a real challenge, but especially traditional. As an animation student, it was an important thing to learn.” He said.

He learned the importance of collaborating, connecting and doing good work under unexpected circumstances.

He also said he made many friends through the show.

“Unbelievable Pumpkin” Finalist William Wilson is the carver for this season’s Wicked Delicious team. “Halloween Wars” Pater said he fears Eerie Eats’ first win will create a rift.

“But you two became friends.” He said. “William Wilson was one of the nicest and funniest people I’ve known and that was just the tip of the iceberg of connections I was able to make. Regular contact with.”

In a previous interview with Miller, Pater credits his family and Altoona High School teachers for helping him achieve his dream.

“My parents and sister were the most positive and determined people I have ever met in my life.” Peter said. “I would like to thank Eric Hoover and Ron Bowser for fostering my creativity and technical possibilities.”

AAHS teachers guided Pater in developing his artistic and networking skills.

“Without them, I wouldn’t have taken art seriously.” Peter said.

Hoover and Bowser acknowledge Pater and his own talent and eagerness to learn for the success of young artists.

“He’s probably one of the smartest students I’ve ever had.” Hoover said then.

“He came to us with his professional drawing ability.” Bowser said.

When asked where he’d seen Peter in the future, educators said it was up to him to decide where he wanted to go.

As an illustrator, Peter has already written and commissioned children’s books, according to one of his art professors, John Bavaro.

“I think he can do whatever he wants.” Bavaro said. “He will go far…if he wants to.”

Anthony’s dad, Tony Pater, said he and other family members watched the show together.

“The past year has been very exciting since they first reached out and interviewed him as a potential participant. His arrival weeks later, preparations for the final aired episode, and overwhelming praise from so many people, from family to strangers, have heated up since the show aired. my heart every step of the way” Tony Pater said.

“I cannot overstate the pride I feel for the way he acted with humility throughout this whole process, and truly his entire life. he added.

“It was just surreal to see him achieve a dream he’s had since he was eight.” his father said.

what’s next

Now that he’s won the show, Pater said his biggest concern is figuring out where to direct his sculpting skills.

“I have already competed in the world’s most prestigious pumpkin contest. How can I beat it?” he asked.

he wants to perform “Unbelievable Pumpkin” However, he admitted that he had no intention of winning it. He’s more concerned with making connections and spreading the word about his work.

He also hopes to inspire the next generation of artists.

“Inspired”halloween wars” When I was 9 years old. Hopefully my looks will inspire people of all ages to try something new, unconventional, or just plain weird. I carve potatoes and whatever else I can get my hands on.” He said. “It’s an exaggeration to say that I’m 20, but frankly, I plan to continue carving for the rest of my life.”

Eerie Eats “Halloween War” Sunday, October 2nd at 9pm on the Food Network. season 12, episode 4, “A collection of sweets” Contests between the final 6 teams are included and 1 is excluded. The competition continues until the final episode when his two final teams compete and the winner is announced.

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