3 locals to watch bake (and act) on the Food Network this holiday season

If rooting for the Cowboys from the couch is not your holiday vibe, don’t worry. Foodies in D-FW can root for some locals participating in TV food specials during the holiday season.

It’s no Great British Bake-Off, but the Food Network has a number of holiday programs featuring all sorts of Dallas-area folks this season.

Candy Coated Christmas

Food Network’s first scripted movie premieres this month on discovery+ and features Arlington native Landry Townsend playing the character of Dakota Winters. Landry was born in Arlington and is of Chinese, Japanese, English and Italian descent.

After growing up in the area, she began studying acting with Cathryn Hartt and Cathryn Sullivan in Dallas.

The movie follows the character Molly Gallant, a Beverly Hills marketing executive whose carefully planned life takes an unexpected turn when she takes a business trip to the picturesque town of Peppermint Hollow. Food Network fans might be jolly to see Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, make an appearance.

Candy Coated Christmas premieres Friday, Nov. 19 on discovery+.

Dakota Winters (Landry Townsend) has a laugh with her uncle, Noah Winters (Aaron O’Connell) in discoveryplus’ holiday movie, Candy Coated Christmas.(Danno Nell / Courtesy: Food Network / Discovery+)

Holiday Baking Championship

Holiday Baking Championship (HBC) premiered Nov. 1 on the Food Network and follows 12 of “the best holiday bakers in America” showcasing their family traditions and baking skills over eight episodes.

Judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman, and Carla Hall determine which baker stands above the rest through weekly dessert challenges, earning a feature in Food Network Magazine and the title of Holiday Baking Champion.

Dallas contestant Naomi Mwangi is one of the 12 competitors on the holiday baking contest to keep your eye on. Mwangi owns The Forêt Noire Baking Company in McKinney, according to her LinkedIn profile.

All episodes of Holiday Baking Championship are available on Food Network and to stream on discovery+.

Holiday Baking Championship: Gingerbread Showdown

Holiday Baking Championship: Gingerbread Showdown will be a new five-episode spin-off to the original HBC.

The show will feature judges Nacho Aguirre, Kardea Brown, and Breegan Jane as they challenge the gingerbread teams in each standalone one-hour episode.

Fort Worth pastry chef Alexis Ruddock will be featured in this one. The “cookie queen” specializes in organic baking and was featured in the network’s Christmas Cookie Challenge in 2019.

She owns Sweet Frosted Cookies in Fort Worth.

Holiday Baking Championship: Gingerbread Showdown premieres Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. on the Food Network.