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Temple woman makes Top 2 in Food Network pumpkin carving competition

Posted at 10:48 AM, Oct 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 11:59:16-04

TEMPLE, Texas — A Temple woman is so good at carving pumpkins, she's competing in a TV show called Outrageous Pumpkins on the Food Network!

You can also find her carving at Robinson Family Farm in Temple.

She made it all the way to the top two on the October 10 episode.

Armed with a passion for art and a set of clay sculpting tools, Kristina Patenaude is something of an expert when it comes to carving pumpkins.

Her artwork is so highly skilled, she even managed to catch the Food Network's eye while casting for a pumpkin carving competition show.

"We love outrageous pumpkins," Patenaude told 25 News, referring to her family. "We're actually real fans of the show."

Just watching her carve an intricate design freehand, you can see why the network would pick her.

She considers starring in the competition an amazing experience.

Her own kids may be her biggest fans.

"The kids love seeing me on the TV. It's adorable," Patenaude said. "My son, who's little, will look up and is like 'that's you on tv' and he gets so excited, and I love seeing that."

She turns vegetables into just about anything, like transforming a potato into a rose or pumpkins into a wedding cake.

"They literally thought it was a real cake," Patenaude said.

In addition to competing on the Food Network, she's also carving at Pumpkin Nights Fest in Austin, several nights a week, taking on pumpkins that get up to 1,400 pounds, something she calls every pumpkin carver's dream.

"I cannot wait to carve the big pumpkins," Patenaude said.

She prefers a big stem to hang on to and the more it weighs the thicker the pumpkin wall will be, providing more depth to carve into.

"The heavier the better, for sure," Patenaude explains.

Between shows, she is patiently perfecting her skills and spreading joy.

"It sparks so much imagination and whimsy in people and no matter how old you are, you can be 3, you can be 93, people love pumpkins."

Outrageous Pumpkins airs every Sunday in October.

See her transform a pumpkin on her YouTube channel.