Bowie has been enjoying the sweet treats and sparkling personality of Mama Cocoa's Delights owner Tamarra Thomas for nearly two years, and later this month, Food Network fans will be exposed to her talent and her charms as a contestant on the reality TV show Sweet Genius.
Sweet Genius is a competition where four pastry chefs compete in three tests to be crowned winner and take home a $10,000 prize. The show is filmed in New York over a period of two days, and competitors are judged by renowned pastry chef Ron Ben Israel.
“The whole thing was just amazing and mind-blowingly different,” Thomas said of the competition.
Thomas spent many years as a pastry chef before she opened Mama Cocoa’s Delights in old town Bowie about two years ago. She had considered applying to be on the show in the past, is was something she never really pursued.
“I’m a candy maker in a small little shop hidden away in Bowie,” said Thomas.
After being encouraged by her friend at another Bowie sweets shop, Cake Courtesan, Thomas finally applied to be on Sweet Genius. Several interviews, photos and a resume later, she was invited to be on the show.
“The cool thing about it is you are competing against really amazing pastry chefs,” Thomas said. “You are competing against people who really know their stuff and then you are being judged by a master.”
The competitors compete in three separate timed challenges, each with a “mystery” ingredient. At the end of each challenge, one competitor is eliminated until the final two compete for the $10,000 prize.
The time constraints, said Thomas were the biggest challenge.
“Pastry is all about patience,” she said.
Did Bowie’s own candy maker and pastry chef win Sweet Genius? You’ll have to wait until the show airs at 10 p.m. on Jan. 24 to find out. Thomas is hosting a viewing party at TJ Elliott’s in Bowie from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. with light appetizers and a cash bar, and she encourages anyone and everyone to attend.