Coloma native takes on Halloween Wars; Food Network program airs 10th season Sunday night
By Angela Widdis Award-winning cake decorator Sharon Hauht, formerly of Coloma, is also a sugar artist and owner of Happy Trails Kitchen in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hauht and her teammates, Steve Baity who is a master pumpkin artist and Sam Lucero who is a cake decorator, make up “Team Ghouly Goblins.” Her team, along with five other teams, will compete in this year’s season of Halloween Wars on Food Network for a grand prize of $50,000.
The contestant from Coloma Sharon Hauht started her taste for baking when she was a member – that would become president – of the Berrien County Cribbs 4-H Club. It was this youth organization that was led by the project leader Barbara Scherer of Watervliet that stirred up her passion for cakes. She recalls that her first cake was a 3-tier filigree butterfly cake that won the title “Best of Show” in the 4-H Spring Achievement Show. That was the first of many 4-H awards and Berrien County Youth Fair ribbons, in both cake decorating and horses, Sharon would earn over the years. Sharon was also honored with the title of Miss Coloma, 1981. Hauht said in an interview, “I remember working as a teen making wedding cakes and even decorating for Tosi’s Restaurant when their decorator was on a vacation.” She went on to say, “I remember making five or six at a time so they wouldn’t run out.”
Her love for food continued as she graduated from Michigan State University with a major in Supply Management. Taking that passion with her, she moved to Las Vegas and became the food and beverage buyer for the historic Sands Hotel and Casino and then held the same position at Caesars Palace. In 2008 Sharon wanted to further her culinary skills and enrolled in the College of Southern Nevada Culinary School. Here is where she became a sugar artist. Realizing her dream, in 2018, she opened her own bakery which she operates out of her home in Las Vegas where she currently resides with her husband Steve Littig. She also has two step-daughters, Alexandra and Stephaine Littig, both residing in California. On top of all that Sharon is a purchasing manager at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, a member and volunteer of the American Culinary Federation (the premier culinary professional’s organization), and “Sugar Angel” which involves being a volunteer cake decorator for the Icing Smiles organization (icingsmiles.org), a nonprofit organization that provides custom celebration cakes to families impacted by the critical illness of a child. Sharon has not only embraced her love for food, but she has also embraced the 4-H pledge of: “I pledge, My Head to clearer thinking, My Heart to greater loyalty, My Hands to larger service, My Health to better living, For my club, my community, my country and my world” in all that she does.
Road to Halloween Wars Hauht was surprised when she was contacted by Food Network – Canada to apply for one of their shows after they had seen her work through her business web site. Though she was not picked to participate, Sharon said that she had seen another opportunity to apply for a different show and decided to go for it. Sharon was so surprised that by noon she was contacted by one of the producers from Halloween Wars, only after submitting her application that morning. They invited her to make a sugar art video which then landed her a spot on the show. To learn more about Sharon’s personal preparations for the competition, watch the Food Network’s show, The Road to Halloween Wars, which airs one hour before the completion. During this program, you will get a glimpse into the 18 different cake, pumpkin, and sugar artists’ backgrounds and how they train for the looming competition. About the show Premiering Sunday night, Sept. 13 at 9:00 p.m., Jonathan Bennett will host the 10th season of the Food Network’s reality competition, Halloween Wars. During each episode, there will be two rounds. The first round is known as the “Small Scare” round. All teams will get 45 minutes to create their unique rendition of a spooky-theme creation. The winners of this round will then get an extra assistant, making two total, to move onto the second leg of the challenge. The added bonus is that the winners of round one will then get the first pick of the pumpkins to be used in round two’s competition phase. Round two is affectionally known as “Spine Chiller”. In this round, the teams get five hours to create a substantial sculpture that will have a new theme choose by the producers. In this round, the extra challenge will be that they must add a taste element to their art. There are three judges, award-winning cake decorator Shinmin Li, Todd Tucker, a special effects master for horror films, and rotating guest judges that will determine the winner from the six teams. Tune in to support our hometown favorite, Sharon Hauht, as she takes on the world’s best in their craft. While you wait for the show, check out her website at www.happytrailskitchen.com or her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/happytrailskitchen/ to see some of her amazing edible artwork.
Now thru Sept 25 “RIGHTFULLY HERS” visiting exhibit commemorating 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment for women’s voting rights at NB Historical Museum, 300 Coloma Ave., Coloma. Visiting hours: Tue-Fri, 10-4; Call 269-468-3330 to book a tour. Admission is free.
Tue & Thu thru Oct 29 “FARM MARKET” at Hartford United Methodist Church; Tuesdays 2-6pm & Thursdays 8am-1pm. Face masks required. Anyone interested in being a vendor, call 269-621-4103. Thu, Sept 10, 7pm “BEST RECENT UFOs” free online program via Zoom hosted by Watervliet District Library presented by William Konkolesky of MUFON
Fri-Sun, Sept 11-13 “MUM SALE” hosted by the Salem Lutheran Church youth group in the church parking lot at 275 Marvin St., Coloma; Hours: Fri 12-5, Sat 9-5 & Sun 11-3
Sat, Sept 12, 10am-4pm “ANTIQUE ENGINE & TRACTOR SHOW DRIVE-THRU” at Michigan Flywheelers Museum, on 68th street, east of South Haven. For updated information, check www.michiganflywheelers.org or Facebook.
Tue, Sept 15, 7pm “SAM MONTE VIDEO” on North Berrien Historical Museum Facebook page. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Sat, Sept 19, 9am-3pm “COMMUNITY YARD SALE” at Van Buren County Museum, 58471 Red Arrow Hwy., Hartford; 10’x10’ outdoor spot for $20, due the day of the event. Sellers need to bring their own table, chair, and canopy. This is a family-friendly event. There will be food on site to buy. To register for a space, call 269-621-2188 and leave a message with name and phone number. Rain date: Saturday, Sept. 26. The museum will be open for viewing.