Locals on TV

Young Houston-area prodigy competes on Food Network baking show

Young Houston-area prodigy competes on Food Network baking show

Duff Goldman Food Network
Duff Goldman will serve as a mentor. Courtesy of Food Network

A junior baker from Pearland will get his shot in the limelight as a contestant on a Food Network baking show. Called Kids Baking Championship, it'll premiere on the Food Network at 8 pm January 7 with a dozen young bakers, ranging in age from 9 to 13.

Those include Gavin Crawford, an 11-year-old baking prodigy from Pearland. 

The young contestants will be tested in dessert challenges such as sugar cookies, mini cheesecakes, macarons, brownies, and blondies.

Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldman will serve as celebrity mentors. The grand prize is $25,000 and a feature in Food Network Magazine.

Food Network president Courtney White says in a release that the young bakers' abilities are "truly remarkable."

"Even the most skilled pastry chefs would crumble under the pressure," White says. Crumble like a cookie. Food metaphors are most effective in press releases such as this.

The show has 10 episodes. Some of the confections that will emerge include freaky flavor tarts using ingredients like jalapeño, goat cheese yuzu, and anise.

On the debut episode, the bakers must serve cupcakes featuring Duff's favorite ingredient, which is bacon. Urgh, really, Duff? Each baker must also include an assigned ingredient such as maple, chocolate, peanut, caramel, cinnamon, ginger, or cherry.

Valerie throws a curveball when she requests they add her favorite ingredient, marzipan. At least it's not bacon. Thank you, Valerie.

Crawford is one of three contestants from Texas. He's joined by Jaxon Remillard from Mansfield, Texas and Madison Totaro of Austin, both of whom are also 11 years old.