A learning experience

Yukon realtor Denise Schroder to appear on popular Food Network show

Denise Schroder in her Yukon kitchen. (Photo by Carol Mowdy Bond)

By Carol Mowdy Bond
Contributing Writer

Yukon realtor Denise Schroder will be featured on Season 20 of the Food Network cable show “Worst Cooks in America” on Sunday, June 21, at 8 p.m. Viewers may watch the program online if they prefer. There are seven episodes in season 20.

Denise Schroder cries while working with a chicken on the set of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America”. (Photo Provided)

“Worst Cooks in America” is one of the highest rated shows on the Food Network, which is one of the highest rated cable shows.

Nominated by her sister, Schroder was chosen out of about 11,000 submissions. Whittled down to 14 who were cast for the show’s 20th season, Schroder said, “It’s a boot camp where we come in as the worst cooks. It’s a contest to see who improves the most. The winner gets $25,000. They take you from cooking disaster to cooking master. It’s very witty and funny.”

Filmed in New York City, the judges are three celebrity chiefs. Schroder compared the competition to the show “Survivor,” where participants are eliminated with each episode.

“I feel positive after the experience. I have more confidence to get in the kitchen,” said Schroder. “I learned to organize the ingredients before I start cooking.”

Eight years older than her only sibling, Schroder said, “My amazing sister allowed my mom to teach her to cook. But I never had the patience to let her teach me. Then our mom died at age 50.” Schroder has absorbed a lot of negative vibes throughout much of her life. So, when her sister nominated her, and the network called asking her to be part of the show, she said, “I wanted to break this cycle.”



Schroder and her husband, Troy, have five children, and two cats. She said they refer to their cat, Kiki, as “’Kiki the Closer,’ and she’s part of the team. Kiki is about to audition for a TV show.”

Schroder said her husband is a foodie. But whenever she tells him she’s going to cook dinner, he doesn’t respond well. “I sing and decorate and sell. We bought this home so we could entertain and have friends and family in,” said Schroder. “But I have had many fires in the kitchen. Everything is always burned. I’ve burned so many birthday cakes for my kids. And I’ve run out and bought something fast. I’ve even bought a cake with someone else’s name on it, because I was so desperate. When we have friends and family in, I buy takeout food, and hide the bags, and pass the food off as something I’ve cooked. I get recipes messed up. I put salt instead of sugar in. In the kitchen, I have a sense of anxiety I can’t explain. I’m very structured, but in the kitchen that all goes out the window. My husband says I should stick to selling kitchens, not cooking in them. I want to change that mindset of lack of confidence in the kitchen.”


Born and raised in Blackwell, Schroder attended Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa, majoring in music and theater. Schroder’s dad was a farmer, and her mom was, in Schroder’s words, a “Domestic Goddess.”

Schroder’s husband, Troy, was born in Okarche, and raised for the most part in Yukon. He’s an alum of the Yukon High School Class of 1986. “We’re two peas in a pod,” said Schroder.

Schroder has navigated her share of hard knocks in life. But she’s not a shrinking violet at this point. She and Troy appeared on “The Steve Harvey Show” twice. They appeared once as blended family experts. And Schroder appeared as an advocate for helping parents combat the dangers of teen technology.

Schroder has also appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” twice, on the “House Hunters” show twice, and she’s also been on “Rachel Ray Show” and “The Talk,” and more. “I feel like since age 26, my adult life has been chronicled on TV through all the TV shows on big networks.”


Schroder and her husband Troy are business partners, owning Schroder Real Estate Group LLC. They are part of Keller Williams Realty Elite and Keller Williams Luxury International, and are Certified Divorce Real Estate Experts.

Their business falls into the top 1% category of over 6,000 realtors in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. In 2018 they nabbed the Best Real Estate Company in Yukon, and have accolades all over the place for their accomplishments.

The two fired up their real estate venture in 2013 and have served nearly 500 families, resulting in over $100 million in real estate sales.

“We have sold 500 homes in the last seven years,” said Schroder. “The average agent sells eight to ten homes a year.”

Now penning a book titled, “Out of the Box Marketing,” Schroder and her husband have a creative way of marketing via social media. “We try to always use humor and laughter in what we do. Being a ham is in my DNA.”