Tamera Mowry-Housley on Literary & Culinary Fun of ‘Dr. Seuss Baking Challenge’
Deliciously fanciful desserts are served up on new Prime Video cooking contest Dr. Seuss Baking Challenge, hosted by Tamera Mowry-Housley. Oh, the things that are made by the talented teams of pastry chefs and cake artists who make even green eggs and ham sound appealing.
Each episode transports viewers to the make-believe City of Seuss as the participants take inspiration and put their culinary spin on timeless tales such as “The Cat in the Hat,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Lorax,” and “Horton Hears A Who.”
Judges and baking bigwigs Clarice Lam and Joshua John Russell decide the best bites and narrow down the field of nine duos to one across multiple rounds. The winning “Seuss” chefs earn honorary citizenship, are inducted into City Hall’s Hall of Fame, and receive a key to the city and $50,000.
Here Mowry-Housely, who also hosted last year’s Baker’s Dozen, takes TV Insider through what’s cooking.
How was the show idea pitched to you?
Tamera Mowry-Housley: I had so much fun doing Baker’s Dozen. I was really sad we didn’t get to do a second season. [Producers\ saw my work on Baker’s Dozen and pitched me this idea. When I saw Dr. Seuss, I was immediately sold! You didn’t have to say much after that.
What do you remember about Dr. Seuss’s stories growing up?
I just loved the books. I love how entertaining they are because of the rhymes and that there is always a life lesson in the midst of it. I will always remember my kindergarten class because that was the first time I learned about Green Eggs and Ham. I loved that my teacher made green eggs and ham for her students. It became a memory I’ve never forgotten. My excitement and curiosity for Dr. Seuss’s books started there. Now I’m reading Dr. Seuss’s books for my kids.
A generational connection.
Here you put up my love of Dr. Seuss and my love of baking, it’s a dream job for me. It doesn’t feel like work. There is something about pastry chefs and cake artists that are so whimsical. They are so much fun. They have these amazing personalities and the most intriguing ways they’ve gotten started. Like, “I was an engineer and started baking and fell in love with it.” Their stories are so beautiful. I loved we were in this City of Seuss that immediately felt magical, even though the stakes were high with a lot of money on the line. It was so much fun.
Each baker has an amazing story. Kerrie [Breuer], born with one hand, is so inspiring to watch on the show.
What I loved about her was, yes, she had this disability, but she didn’t want you to focus on that. Her story is to realize you can move past that and watch her compete with the best of them. Without giving anything away, I will say she was very talented. She felt she was in competition with herself. You realize there were other people but her thing was, “Yes, I’m aware there are other people, but I want to do better than I did before. I want to always stay learning.” I loved that about her.
The set is really incredible and so immersive. How was it for you to watch these bakers at work?
Honestly, I look at cake artists and pasty chefs differently on this particular show. This show you literally combined a pastry chef with a cake artist. They didn’t have to know each other before. They just had to learn to work well together. There is something about making something great that tastes amazing and also make something look pretty. Then having to make something that is out of a storybook and nail the iconic characters of Dr. Seuss. To make their dessert look like it’s moving when it’s not. I respect bakers, but I see them differently. They are amazing. They are so talented. To do what they did in the amount of time that was allotted is impressive.
This show gets people not only excited about baking but also may even encourage reading. Do you want to see the show carry over into another book series?
There are so many Dr. Seuss books that I would love to keep the show in that land because there is something so magical about Dr. Seuss. When you get to see something you can actually be inspired by, you want to go back to the books you read in your childhood because a lot of the challenges and stories were lessons. As an adult, you sometimes can forget. You can use these lessons right now in life. Hopefully, people will love this show so we can come back again.
This holiday season audiences can also see you in Inventing the Christmas Prince on Hallmark. What is it like for you to see the network make inclusiveness and diversity more of a priority?
One of the things I’m so grateful for moving into Hallmark. I’ll never forget Wonya [Lucas] (Hallmark Media president and CEO) and I had this conversation. She said we want to be able to tell our stories. I was like, “Yes!” We love Christmas too.” She said, “We want you to be the face of that. We want to give you that responsibility. I was able to produce three films. They did fantastic for Hallmark, and I’m so grateful for the people who have grown up with me on television. It’s amazing. To have the opportunity to continue to do that is incredible.
Dr. Seuss Baking Challenge, December 13, Prime Video and Amazon Freevee