If you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen the final episode of Crime Scene Kitchen. And if you haven’t, go watch it right now! It’s stressful and chaotic and highly emotional. After so many bakes and so many crime scenes (and so many jokes from Joel McHale), the judges finally chose a winner for season 2 of Crime Scene Kitchen.
But who is it? It’s Yass and Amber! The classically-trained bakers have shined the entire season and if you were surprised they won, you really haven’t been paying attention.
I was lucky enough to interview them before the finale and we talked about their win, what it was like to be on the show, the flower cut-out cake challenge, and of course, what their favorite guilty eats are.
Interview with Crime Scene Kitchen winners Amber Croom and Yassmeen Haskins
Guilty Eats: I think I know the answer to this, but when they announced you win, how did you feel?
Amber: “Overwhelmed. We worked hard to get to that point and we kind of just breathed. It was finally over and it wasn’t just over, we won. [And we thought], what are we fittin’ to do with this money? Where do we go from here?”
Yass: “And how much are the taxes? I asked!”
Amber: “Do we need to go into witness protection? Do we need to change phone numbers?”
Yass: “But really, what are the taxes on this?”
Amber: “Also, is there someone we can talk to about next steps? But yeah, we’re badass, and that’s how it felt! Like, yeah, we did that!
I haven’t said this yet, but I felt like a lot of people, while they knew our skill, they counted us out. If you were on Twitter or Reddit, we were kind of like a dark horse.”
GE: That’s so interesting because I had the opposite feeling. For me, I thought y’all were in the top two.
Amber: “Yeah, we were not the favorites. So I told Yass, I really feel like people are sleeping on us.”
Yass: “Tarsha and Kristy too. I felt like people slept on them. They did not realize how, yeah they might not have gotten a safety bake, but they really won five or six episodes. They got all the clues correct. That’s the reason why they made it to the merge. I was nervous because of Tarsha and Kristy. I really was.”
Guilty Eats: I think I also know the answer to this but was the detective part harder or the baking part?
Yass: “It depends.”
Amber: “I feel like the bake we had down for the most part. I feel like we had two different minds on how to decipher the clues, and then we missed some physical clues. I think that was our biggest downfall. Other than that, I feel like we could have won every safety had we not missed pivotal clues.”
Yass: “For me, I love the crime investigating part of it, because baking is just what I do every day, It’s what Amber does every day. So that was a no-brainer. But the crime part, figuring out whether there was a story being told in this kitchen and being anxious about making it to the other side of the kitchen to see what Amber saw and will she communicate clearly with me was difficult. And a lot of times Amber and I would go through that kitchen and we did not talk. And when we finally started to, it was kind of like yelling out what’s important.”
Amber: “We were trying to focus!”
Yass: “We didn’t really yell out things that weren’t necessary, but we yelled out the important stuff like “green on a napkin,” “crumbs in the mixer,” or “there’s anglaise on this rubber spatula”. That was the fun part. Also, we learned so much about each other in this kitchen, so it wasn’t just the bake and the crime, it was us getting to know one another. We had not baked in the kitchen together at all. I was getting an understanding of who she was and we really had a 90-day trial on the show.”
Amber: “We were 90-day fiance, basically! Like “I don’t know you. You don’t know me” and now here we are in this pressure cooker with this obscene amount of money at stake.”
Yass: “Will she ask me to marry her?!”
Amber: “Will we break up in front of everybody? Will it be really bad?”
GE: There were some moments with some other contestants.
Amber: “We had our moments, but we knew how to step back from it. Like “Let me respect that you’re not feeling me right now. I’m not feeling you.” Or “what we’re doing isn’t working so let’s take a beat.” That was probably pivotal for us to be successful. (During the show), you’re learning this person and you’re learning their form of communication.
I think it was on this episode (the finale) where [Yass] goes “Can you stop?” and I say “I can’t” But in that regard, we were successful in our partnership.”
GE: I want to talk about the floral cut-out cake. When that came out, it was exactly what you had made. Do you think there is something you did differently that ensures you got the exact cake?
Yass: “No. We did everything that we set out to do from the very beginning. The clues kind of just spoke to the both of us and the process of looking at the kitchen helped. Like walking up the steps we said “Remember the flowers,” “The flowers are important, ” and “Find the colors” We were telling each other “Find the colors so we can make sure that’s correct” We also said “Oh there’s a triangle. Bet it’s a cutout cake.” We just had to see what the icing was and the filling and what’s the simple syrup. And that was pretty much a no-brainer for us. And that comes into the classically-trained part. Amber and I both spend every week with clients who send us photos of what they will like and we have to duplicate that.”
Amber: “And knowing the trends of today [was helpful]. Going into this, that’s what the Crime Scene Kitchen does when they are creating things. They are very current. Even if you look at last season, there was a geode cake. And the geode cakes were really big at that time. Floral cut-out cakes were just really big during that time and during the pandemic. So yeah, I was like “Oh, I know what it is and this is what it’s going to look like.”
Yass: “That challenge was probably the least amount of talking that we did.”
GE: Ok, final question: What is your guilty eat?
Yass: “Sweet or savory?”
GE: Let’s do sweet.
Yass: “Well, it depends on the time of the month. I don’t really care for cookies, but if I’m going to have a cookie, it has to be piping hot out of the oven. No cooling it off. And it has to be made in my kitchen. It can’t come from somebody else. That’s my guilty pleasure. Oh and key lime pie. I would travel the earth for key lime pie. Anything lemon or citrus.”
GE: Completely agree.
Amber: “I would say for me and I want zero judgment! It’s Cheesecake Factory Oreo Extreme Cheesecake with a side of hot fudge.”
GE: There is nothing wrong with that.
Yass: “That is very specific!”
Amber: “It just hits every time. I love chocolate. I love creamy cheesecake, and they have like the cake, and then the cheesecake with the Oreos, and then the chocolate ganache, and then the whipped cream, and then the hot fudge. I just have to have my Lactaid pills on the side! If you want to know the way to my heart, just bring me a slice, but make sure there is hot fudge on the side.”
Yass: “Wait. Let me add on to that, because if we are going to go Cheesecake Factory then it has to be the pineapple upside-down cheesecake. Like we could sit together and have that. Sarah, do you have one?”
GE: Probably anything brownie or brownie-related. Also, and this is only a guilty pleasure because of what my dentist may say, but sour patch kids. And I have to eat the whole box.
Amber: “Trolli Bright Crawlers right here.”
GE: Yes! I grew up on those! Any sour candy is good for me.
Amber: “Love me some sweet and sour!”