Scott French, the acclaimed Houston baker from Mister French’s Gourmet Bakery, returns to the Food Network’s Christmas Cookie Challenge in its seventh season. French, who clinched the title in 2019, is set to appear in the season opener, “Team of Champions,” airing on November 16th at 8:00 pm CST.
In this special episode, host Ree Drummond and former NFL star Eddie Jackson reunite French with seven other past champions. The contestants, who will work in teams of two, will face unprecedented challenges, starting with crafting Christmas cookie quilts. After one team is eliminated, the competition intensifies as the remaining teams construct colossal stadiums, incorporating festive flavors like eggnog and mulled wine, vying for a $10,000 prize and the Best of the Best trophy.
French’s previous win in 2019—judged by Drummond, Vivian Chan, and Dan Langan—was marked by his innovative use of a secret ingredient in a narrative cookie tableau featuring a mischievous elf. His victory brought him not only the title but also a $10,000 reward. “My ingredient was cayenne pepper,” he shares. “I had to blend this into a story about a snowman and an elf, which was quite a challenge within 90 minutes!”
French’s path to baking was deeply personal. He began baking cookies as Christmas gifts and found solace in it after the passing of his partner in 2010. “Baking became a form of therapy for me,” he recalls. In 2012, he opened his business, Mr. French’s Gourmet Bakery, which has since become renowned for special order cookies, including elaborate creations like a 3-D car and a six-foot mask. In 2017, French was named one of OutSmart magazine’s “Heroes of Harvey” after he opened his bakery to feed thousands of first responders.
WHAT: Food Network’s ‘Christmas Cookie Challenge, Season 7
WHEN: November 16, 2023 at 8 p.m.
WHERE: The Food Network