Joshua Juarez, a former Del Rioan, was the winner of the Food Network Christmas Cookie Challenge which aired Monday night; as the winner of the competition the former Del Rioan earned the $10,000 prize.
Juarez competed against four other bakers, in hopes of winning the coveted prize and made his appearance in the sixth episode of the show’s third season. He had to impress judges Vivian Chan, Ree Drummond and Don Langan with his baking skills.
According to Juarez, he had high hopes of winning, but he has not worked with human cookies in a long time, as his dog cookies were what caught the network’s attention prior to the competition.
“Until the last second I didn’t know I had won. After the first round I knew I had a chance,” Juarez said.
Bakers had to survive the first round in order to move to the final round. The first round presented bakers with a slice-and-bake challenge.
After two bakers were eliminated in the first round, Juarez and the remaining two competitors set off to create cookies using herbs and spices. The herbs and spices included items such as sage, thyme, tarragon and cumin.
For Juarez, the best part of the competition was the friends he made along the way.
“I think the part I enjoyed the most was the friends I made along the way. I couldn’t be more grateful for the group I was paired with,” Juarez said.
Previously, Juarez said he would use the award to help his business in Austin grow and flourish. His passion for baking stems from his childhood.
Juarez grew up with two “excellent bakers,” his mother and grandmother. As Juarez grew older he discovered he “loved making people happy through food.”
Now Juarez is the winner of Monday night’s Christmas Cookie Challenge.
The Christmas Cookie Challenge will continue airing on Food Network this month on Nov. 24 at 9 p.m. central time and Nov. 25 at midnight central time.
More airtimes for the specific episode can be found at foodnetwork.com.