Local Baker Competes in Food Network’s Christmas Cookie Challenge

Published by The Bee News

December 12, 2021

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Bullhead City AZ — Local Bullhead City resident Mariana Montes De Oca was contacted by Food Network producers on her Instagram page. They said they had come across her work and had been watching they thought Mariana would be a good candidate for their upcoming season 5 of Christmas Cookie Challenge. Mariana had to go through a series of interviews with casting managers and top producers of the show to be one of their final candidates. After that series of interviews was completed, they contacted Mariana to notify her that she was one of the contestants selected out of 10,000  that applied for the show. Food Network then flew Mariana to Tennessee for the 2 challenge competitions and a chance to win $10,000.

Mariana’s Cookie journey started on her son’s 4th birthday party back in 2015. Mariana stated she searched for food and party treats to make, as that is her Salvadorian tradition to always serve lots of yummy and good looking food. At that moment Mariana said she stumbled upon sugar cookies, she  decided to give it a try. Next thing Mariana  knew she was getting cookie requests by family members, friends and acquaintances. In a matter of months Mariana went from a dozen for her son’s birthday party to 200 decorated cookies for her sister in law’s wedding reception. Mariana said as time went by she was getting more and more requests however her career as a phlebotomist and medical assistant in a hospital setting was not allowing her the time she needed to keep up with all the requests. Mariana had to stop taking requests unless it was friends or close family.

In 2017 Mariana’s daughter was born and her husband and Mariana decided she would stay home with the kids. Mariana then seen the opportunity of baking and allowing her creativity flow yet again. Then in 2018 Mariana allowed all those cookies and creativity to lead her to creating her business The Kind Cookie & Co.

Mariana stated “I honestly love what I do and enjoy seeing people enjoy what I make for them with so much love and care. Using the best quality ingredients is very important to me, As well as presentation.” They may look too stunning to eat, but it’s sole purpose in life is to be eaten and enjoyed! Don’t forget to tune in this Thursday December 16th on Food Network to show support for Mariana!


 Christmas Cookie Challenge – Premiering Thursday, December 16th at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network

Christmas wreaths are a beloved holiday tradition, so five merry cookie makers put their sweet spin on the classic decorations that spread love all the way around. Then, hosts Ree Drummond and Eddie Jackson kick-start a new tradition with a Christmas “pull-me-up” display challenge. In a thrilling sight, the cookie makers release a tsunami of icing that completely transforms their towering displays, and one lucky cookier rides the tidal wave of icing all the way to the $10,000 prize.

Photo Credit Courtesy of Food Network

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  1. What an honor to be selected to compete. Good luck and congratulations!!!!

  2. I’m watching the Christmas cookie challenge. Your ring is spectacular!!!!!!!

  3. I watched this episode of Christmas Cookie Challenge and congratulations on being on the show and making some beautiful cookies. Good luck with your cookie business

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