16 of the best Chopped Jr Champions will return to compete for $50,000 and the title of Chopped Jr Grand Champion! There will be four rounds with four chefs each. The winner of each round will get $15,000 and the chance to compete in the Grand Finale and win another $35,000 and a Chopped Jr. Grand Champion Chef Coat!
15 year old Daniel Kingman. He was one of the first Chopped Junior Champions and now with even more experience in the kitchen he believes he can be the Grand Champion.
14 year old Amelia Carpentieei. She says, “I have many more skills then last time I was in the Chopped Kitchen and I will take down my 6 competitors to get the win!”
13 year old Christian Bonadio. He is so excited to be back and says he has more tricks up his sleeve. Christian believes he can win today and in the Grand Finale.
And 14 year old Lily Nunziata. She says, I’m happy to be back and I’m going to grill the competition.”
And the judges are all Chopped Kitchen regulars, Marc Murphy, Amanda Freitag & Alex Guarnaschelli.
For the Appetizer Round they must cook with Corn on the Cob, Cereal Mix, Watermelon and Chicken Drumsticks. When they are cooking Lily drops her sliced watermelon into the gas grills, but she quickly cuts more and finishes her dish with only 10 minutes remaining. Amelia knocks her cereal all over the floor. She starts to cry, but Christian runs over, gives her his extra cereal and helps her plate at the end.
Time for the tasting.
Christian makes Cereal Crusted Chicken Leg with Corn Pieces and Grilled Watermelon. Alex loves what he did with the cereal. She says she would have never thought to use it so creatively. Amanda loves the watermelon, but all 3 judges wish he did something more with the corn. Overall though, it is a good dish.
Lily makes Grilled Chicken, Grilled Watermelon and Corn with Cereal Crumble. Marc likes what she has done with the cereal because it adds a nice crispy texture to the corn. But, unfortunately the chicken skin is overcooked and the meat close to the bone is undercooked.
Amelia makes Smoked Chicken Leg with Watermelon and Corn Salsa. Somehow, she forgets to use the cereal and it never makes it to the plate. Alex says the chicken is cooked well and the salsa is good. But is it good enough to overcome missing an ingredient?
And Daniel makes Baked Chicken Leg with Grilled Watermelon and Shaved Corn Kernels with Cereal Garnish. Amanda likes the chicken, but feels it is a bit too safe for a champion chef. Alex loves the char on the grilled watermelon and Marc thinks the garnish is a creative idea.
Ted Allen lifts the cloche to reveal the first junior chef going home … Lily, since she served the judges uncooked poultry. Lily says “I am sad I was chopped, but I am one of the 16 best Chopped Junior Champions and I am proud of myself. I wish my fellow cooks good luck!”
For the Entrée Round Christian, Amelia and Daniel must cook with Pork Chops, Apples, Green Beans and Anchovies. During the thirty minutes Daniel is cooking his pork too long and when the other cooks and even the judges tell him his meat is smoking, he doesn’t listen. Ted Allen wonders if the pressure is too much.
Daniel makes a Pork Chop with Seared Green Beans, Baked Apples and Fish-On-The-Side. Marc says the pork is way overcooked. The fish is dry and was not incorporated into the dish harmoniously. Amanda liked the baked apple, but thought it was more a dessert item. And Alex wonders why Daniel wouldn’t listen to the warnings about the meat being overcooked.
Christian makes Seared Pork Chop, Cooked Green Bean and Applesauce with Crispy Anchovy Garnish. Amanda loves the pork and applesauce combination. “ I like that I can dip my pork into the applesauce for a perfect bite.” Marc is surprised by how much the crispy anchovy adds to the overall dish. “It’s salty, it has great texture, and it is unexpected. I like that.” Alex is a big fan of the perfectly cooked green beans. She eats all of hers and some off Marc’s plate.
And Amelia makes Grilled Pork Chop, Steamed Green Beans and Anchovy & Apple Salsa. Marc says the pork is nice and juicy. Amanda thinks steamed beans is too simple. And Alex is not sure about the salsa. “It shouldn’t work, but somehow it does.”
Ted Allen lifts the cloche to reveal the next champ chopped is … Daniel, since his pork was overcooked. He says “I am super shocked I am chopped. I feel like my dish was good, but I will not stop cooking and I will be a good chef one day.”
And for Dessert Round Christian and Amelia must cook with Strawberry Yogurt, Bananas, Cheddar Cheese Chips and Vanilla Cake Mix. Who will win, and who will be chopped?
Christian makes Frozen Banana Strawberry Swirl with Cheese Chip Brittle. All 3 judges love the dessert. Alex says, “The fresh fruit flavors compliment the creamy frozen pudding and the brittle adds a salty texture to the dish.” Amanda and Marc both love it, but are wishing for a bit of chocolate.
And Amelia makes a Fruit Tart with a Cheese Chip Crumble. Marc likes the buttery crumble but says the tart shell is more like cake. “Maybe you should have called this a cake?” Alex likes the idea of a banana and strawberry filling, but think it needed more sugar to counter the bitterness of the yogurt.
Ted Allen lifts the cloche for the last time to reveal the one chopped is … Amelia, since she forgot the basket ingredient in the first round and her dessert that didn’t quite come together. She says, “I am disappointed I got chopped but I made it to the dessert round. I am so happy for Christian and I know he will do great in the finale.”
That means CHRISTIAN BONADIO is once again a Chopped Junior Champion. He wins $15,000 today and gets to come back to compete for $35,000 more and the tile of Chopped Junior Grand Champion.
We meet the 4 Champions back for more cooking:
15 year old Sean Lew. He says he has learned lots more cooking skills and will once again, dance his way to victory.
12 year old Caroline Coleman. She looks sweet, but says, “I’m fierce and I will win!”
13 year old Ellie Kuhnle. She was the first ever Chopped Junior Champion. She says, “Now I want to be the first Grand Champion and that means I have to focus on my win today.”
10 year old Elan Satchit. A recent Junior Champion he is the youngest cook today. “I may be only ten, but I’ve won before against older cooks, and I can do it again!”
Today’s Chopped Junior judges are Chris Santos, Marcus Samuelsson and Maneet Chauhan. Ted Allen announces it is “Time to open the baskets!
For the Appetizer Round the young Chopped Jr Champions must cook with Smoked Salmon, Cooked Chicken & Rice, Ketchup and Pickles. After 30 minutes of frantic cooking it is time for the tasting.
Caroline makes Salmon, Chicken & Rice Sushi, with Ketchup & Pickle Wasabi! Maneet loves the horseradish in the wasabi and says it works just right with the unusual sushi. Marcus is impressed with the presentation and says he is surprised Caroline knows how to use seaweed for wrapping.
Elan makes Chicken Fried Rice with Salmon and Grilled Pickles. Chris likes it but says the grilled pickles don’t fit with dish. Maneet wants more spice, “Maybe a dash of smoked paprika would have complemented the smoky salmon?”
Ellie makes Egg Rolls Two Ways with Spicy Sauce. One has chicken and one has salmon. Chris says the dish is wildly creative, but he can’t find any pickle in or out of the egg rolls. Maneet agrees. She is impressed with the flavors in the fillings and the crispy deep fried wrappers, but, “I can’t detect any pickle flavor. Ellie realizes she lost track of the pickle and never added it to the sauce as she had intended.
And Sean makes Spiced Salmon with Chicken & Rice over Pickle-Ketchup Sauce. Chris loves the chicken but says Sean over spiced the dish and doesn’t like the flavor of the sauce. Marcus disagrees with Chris, and says he enjoys the punchy flavor in the sauce.
And the first cook to be Chopped is … Elan, since his dish lacked flavor and the pickles were not integrated well. He says, “I am super sad I got chopped, but I am proud of what I did and I will not stop cooking.”
For the Entrée Round Caroline,Ellie and Sean must cook with Steak, Garlic, Flat Bread and Vanilla Wafers.
Caroline makes Flat Bread Wrapped Steak with Garlic-Cookie Sauce. Marcus loves her sauce idea and he wants to know how she cook the meat so perfectly. Chris agrees. He says, garlic and cookies should never go together, but somehow it works! Nice job.”
Ellie makes Cookie Crusted Steak on Flat Bread. Sadly, the steak is a bit dry and the bread is soggy from the escaping juices. Marcus says he would have put the bread on the side. Maneet says it still tastes amazing because the cookie crust added a nice flavor to the meat.
And Sean was trying to make almost the same thing as Ellie, but time got away from him and he only got the bread on 3 out of 4 plates. Chris’s plate doesn’t have bread and he is not please about it. Plus, all the judges agree, the steak is very overcooked.
And the second cook to be chopped is … Sean, since he missed an ingredient on one plate and overcooked the meat. He says, “I am bummed out. I don’t want to leave before the dessert round. I wish I had asked for help plating, I definitely will next time.”
For the Dessert Round Ellie and Caroline must cook with Cheese, Olive Oil, Apples and Tart Shells.
Caroline makes an Apple & Cheese Tart with an Olive Oil Ice Cream. Marcus says it is an amazing dessert. “It’s really a perfect blend between sweet and savory. Most professional chefs struggle with this skill.” Chris loves what she did with the olive oil and says he has never had it in ice cream before. Very creative.
And Ellie makes and Cheesy Apple Danish. Unfortunately, the crust is over-baked, and the cheese filling is leaking out the cracks. The presentation suffers. Maneet likes the idea more than the execution of this dessert. Marcus and Chris want something sweeter.
And the last young cook chopped is … Ellie, since she had more flaws in all 3 rounds of cooking. She hugs Caroline, shakes the judges hands, waves to Ted and says, “I am proud I got this far today. I will be cheering on Caroline in the finale. I really hope she wins!”
That means CAROLINE COLEMAN is once again the Chopped Junior Champion! She wins $15,000 and will return to the Chopped Kitchen to compete for the Grand Championship!
4 more Champions are excited to be back in the Chopped Kitchen!
14 year old Bella Coonis has been cooking every day to improve her skills and thinks she can win again.
13 year old Matt Grieco wants to win this time for his dad who taught him how to cook.
13 year old Mason Partak is super excited to be back and says, “No matter want happens, I know I am a great chef.”
And 12 year old Emily Roche, the youngest in the round, is hopeful that age won’t matter, and she can win and move on the Grand Championship.
The judges for Round 3 are Amanda Freitag, Geoffrey Zakarian and Scott Conant.
For the Appetizer Round the Jr Champions must cook with Scallops, Asparagus, Kiwi and Bacon.
Mason makes Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Grilled Asparagus and Kiwi. Scott is worried about the cook on the scallops, but when he cuts them open he finds that Mason cooked them perfectly. Geoffrey loves the grill marks and says, “Surprisingly, asparagus and kiwi taste great together.” And all 3 judges love the crispy bacon wrap, Amanda even takes one from Scott’s plate.
Matt makes Smoked Scallops with Kiwi Sauce and Boiled Asparagus. He cooked the Scallops well, but the kiwi sauce needed seasoning and tastes bland. Amanda says “The crumbled bacon on the asparagus was a good idea, but the bacon is so overcooked it tastes bitter.”
Emily makes Kiwi and Asparagus Soup with Seared Scallops. Geoffrey likes the bacon flavor in the soup and thinks it is wildly creative use of the ingredients, but wonders why the scallops were added. “You completely lost the texture of the sear.” Scott agrees and adds, “Sadly, my scallops are also undercooked.”
And Bella makes Seared Scallops over Grilled Asparagus with Kiwi Garnish. Scott says, “These scallops are done well, but the kiwi seems like an afterthought. And Amanda wishes Bella had done more with the bacon.
Ted Allen lifts the cloche to reveal that the first one chopped is … Emily, since her scallops were undercooked and bacon a bit burned. She says, “Ugh, I wish I cooked those scallops a little longer. I know better. But, I still got to cook for the judges again and it was fun.”
For the Entrée Round Mason, Bella and Matt must cook Rack of Ribs, Oranges, Honey and Romanesco broccoli.
Mason makes his famous Orange & Honey Glazed Ribs over Romanesco Purée. Scott is impressed Mason can cook such tasty ribs in 30 minutes. “I read on your blog it usually takes you two days to make these ribs!” Amanda loves the sauce. Mason says, “I sell it by the jar.” And Geoffrey jokes, “Okay, you win, can I have 6 free jars?” 😊
Bella makes Braised Short Ribs with Orange & Honey Sauce and Roasted Romanesco. Sadly, the ribs are undercooked. Scott says, “I think when you were checking the meat, you opened and closed the oven too much. The heat got out.” Amanda likes the seasoning on the Romanesco and the sweetness of the orange honey sauce. “I really wish I could dig into the ribs, but undercooked pork is a serious problem.”
And Matt makes Grilled Short Rib with Honey Glaze and Mashed Romanesco. Geoffrey is not happy with the dish. “There is so much honey on the ribs that it created a burned crust.” Scott agrees and holds up one of his ribs. “I think I got the most burned one here.” But Amanda points out that when you cut through the glaze the pork is cooked well inside. “Mine is juicy and full of flavor. And when I pair it with the mash, it’s actually very good.”
The cloche is up and next one to be chopped is … Bella, since her ribs were undercooked! She says, “I am sad I did not get to make a dessert, but I am happy I got to cook in the Chopped kitchen with these incredible cooks. And, I can’t wait to see you wins the next round.”
For the Dessert Round Mason and Matt have to use Blue Cheese, Sugar Sticks, Cupcakes and Chocolate.
Mason makes Blue Cheese Crème Brûlée with a Chocolate Ganache Cake Chunk. Scott hates blue cheese, but he really likes how Mason transformed it’s strong flavors in the dessert. Amanda agrees. “I love the crunch of the sugar topping and the extra tang from the blue cheese in the cream.” Geoffrey especially likes the last bite of cake with the chocolate coating. “You really managed to hit so many notes here. A touch of citrus would have perfected it.”
Matt makes Blue Cheese Cake with Chocolate Sauce and Sugar Stick. Scott says, “This is a good attempt at a cake, but it’s very dense, almost too heavy.” Amanda disagrees, “I like it, it’s like a pound cake. And the chocolate sauce is delicious.” Geoffrey says, “But what am I supposed to do with the rock candy? It adds nothing to the dish.” Matt admits he forgot about that basket ingredient and stuck it in the cake in the last seconds, just to get it on the plate.
And the last young champion to be chopped is … Matt, since he burned the ribs in the entrée round and missed an ingredient in the dessert round. He says, “I am not sad that I got beat by an amazing chef today and I wish him the best. Cooking in the Chopped Kitchen is an amazing experience I will never forget.”
That means MASON PARTAK is again the Chopped Junior Champion, is $15,000 richer and he takes the 3rd spot in the Grand Championship Finale.
The last 4 champs will compete for the last spot in the grand finale and they are:
14 year old Liam Dertinger. He says, “Last time I donated my winnings to charities, but if I win this time I plan on using the money for culinary school.”
14 year old Nicholas Bruzzano. He says, “I want to beat the champs and prove to people I deserved my win last time.”
12 year old Taliah Dancil. She says, “I’m excited to be back and I’m bringing my A game today so I can go on to win the Grand Championship.”
And, 11 year old Claire Hollingsworth. It has been two years since she won Chopped and she has grown a lot. She says, “I like cooking in the Chopped Kitchen because I learn a lot while I’m here, and it’s fun to win too.”
The Chopped judges are Aarón Sánchez, Maneet Chauhan and Chris Santos.
For the Appetizer Round the cooks must use Shrimp, Hot Peppers, Grapefruit and Dinner Rolls.
Nicholas makes Spicy Shrimp Roll with Grapefruit Aioli. Chris likes how the shrimp is perfectly cooked and the rolls are nice and crispy, but he thinks there is a little too much heat. On the contrary, Maneet loves the heat and says, “I want to eat more and more of it.”
Claire makes Shrimp Gumbo with Spicy Toasted Buns. Aarón says the presentation is very good, but the shrimp is super chewy and Maneet notices she forgot to use the grapefruit! Chris likes the rolls a lot, but then gets flabbergasted when he finds a shrimp shell in his soup. Claire says, “Whoops! Sorry about that, Chef.”
Liam makes Grilled Spicy Shrimp & Grilled Grapefruit Slices. Aaron the says the shrimp is cooked well but could have used a little more heat. Maneet likes the idea of grilled fruit, but thinks he might have made a mistake cutting the slices so thin, as they quickly dried out and added very little flavor to the plate.
And Taliah makes Deep Fried Shrimp with Spicy Grapefruit Cocktail. Chris loves the coating on the perfectly cooked shrimp. “But I don’t get this spicy fruit, it’s way too hot!” Even Maneet needs to drink water after tasting the grapefruit chunks and Aarón says, “I wish this fruit worked with the fried shrimp, but it just doesn’t.”
Ted Allen lifts the cloche to reveal that the first cook to be chopped is … Claire, since she overcooked her protein and left an inedible shell in her soup. She says, “I am disappointed to be chopped, but I had fun returning to the Chopped Kitchen, seeing Ted and the judges again and meeting other kids who love to cook as much as I do. That’s all that really matters.”
For the Entrée Round Liam, Nicholas and Taliah must cook with Salmon Filet, Shaved-Corn, Crimini Mushrooms and Extra Spicy Chips.
Liam makes Crispy Skinned Salmon on Butter & Spice Corn Sauté with Mushrooms. Chris says the fish is cooked well and the crushed chips add a nice heat to the veggies, but there is one major problem with the dish. Aarón agrees, “When you crisp the salmon skin as beautifully as you did, Liam, you need to place it skin side up. The great texture was lost when you placed it on the sautéed food. It’s a shame.”
Taliah makes Crusted Salmon with Creamed Corn & Mushroom Sauce. Maneet says, “The outer crust is delicious, but the fish is dry. I think it got overcooked because of the outer coating.” Aarón likes the creamy sauce on the side. But wonders if it is enough to make up for drying out the fish?
And Nicholas makes Spicy Pan Seared Salmon with Grilled Corn and Criminis. Maneet loves how Nicholas scraped the spices from the chips to use as a rub on the fish, and how the corn mixture cools it down. Aarón says, “The cook on this fish is spot on, man. Nice job.” Chris eats everything on his plate, he even wants the rest of the other judge’s salmon.
The second young cook to be chopped is … Taliah, since her fish was over cooked She says, “Cooking in the Chopped Kitchen is a dream come true. And I got to do it twice! I wish Liam and Nick the best.”
For the Dessert Round Liam and Nicholas must cook with Strawberries, Chocolate Bars, Kale and Vanilla Cake Mix.
Nicholas makes a Hidden Kale Lava Cake with Macerated Strawberries. Maneet loves how he incorporated the kale into the dessert by cooking it down and blending it into the chocolate cake batter. Aarón says, “I’m going to make this for my kids!” Chris likes how the chocolate lava oozes when he cuts into it, but says the strawberry pieces were too large and he found a green stem in his sauce.
Liam makes a Chocolate-Kale Tart with Strawberry Sauce. Aarón says the crust is nice and flaky and the chocolate filling is extremely moist, thanks to the kale, but it is a little too chocolaty. Maneet likes the dark chocolate and says, “The strawberry sauce helps to cut rich flavor.” Chris is happy with dessert until he finds an egg shell. Damn.
And the last one chopped is … Liam, since his grapefruit slices didn’t work, his salmon skin got soggy and he had an egg shell mishap. He says “I am very happy with my overall performance today. I cooked my heart out, but Nick did too, and today is his day. I hope he wins the whole thing!”
That mean NICHOLAS BRUZZANO is a two time Chopped Junior Champion and wins $15,000. Nicholas takes the last spot in the Grand Finale and will compete for another #35,000 and the Grand Champion Title!
4 of the best Chopped Junior Champions NICHOLAS, CAROLINE, MASON and CHRISTIAN will compete for $35,000 and the amazing title of Chopped Junior Grand Champion.
Ted Allen introduces the Grand Finale Judges: Aarón Sánchez, Maneet Chauhan and Scott Conan. And all attention focuses on the baskets
For the Grand Championship Appetizer Round they must cook with Ground Beef, Tomatoes, Beef Jerky and Naan.
Mason makes Naan Slider with Smoky Ketchup. At first, Scott is worried it’s too simple, but he loves the homemade ketchup on the juicy burger. Maneet says, “I’ve never used naan as a burger bun, but it’s a delicious idea.” And Aarón says it was a smart use of jerky to bring flavor to the tomato-based ketchup.
Christian makes Meatball Sub with Jerky Tomato Sauce. Aarón says, “The meatballs are seasoned well and cooked perfectly, but the beef jerky isn’t working in the sauce.” Maneet agrees, and wonders if he softened the meat in boiling water before adding it to the tomatoes. Christian says he did not. Scott explains, “Without softening the jerky meat it becomes extremely tough and difficult to chew.”
Caroline makes a Beef Burger with Sliced Tomato. Her dish looks sloppy, but it tastes amazing. Scott likes how she mixed bits of jerky into the hamburger for flavor. “Smart choice, Caroline.” Maneet agrees about the hamburger itself, but feels like she could have treated the naan with more care because it is too dry and stiff.
And Nicholas makes Beef Jerky Meatloaf. Scott says, “This is a creative use of the ingredients. I like the way you soaked the naan in milk and added it to the ground beef and eggs. You even soaked the jerky enough to blend its flavors well. But this dish needed more time to cook.” Aarón agrees, “Yes, sadly my meatloaf is a bit undercooked in the center.” Maneet likes the sweetened tomato glaze top and says that with more time this dish could have worked.
Ted Allen lifts the cloche to reveal that first junior chef chopped is …. Christian, since his dish was hard to eat with the hunks of chewy jerky. He says, “I am so happy I made it to the Grand Championship. All of us here are great cooks and I know my sister will be proud of me.”
For the Entrée Round Mason, Caroline and Nicholas must cook with Lamb Chops, Carrots, Mustard and Shortbread Cookies.
Mason makes Mustard Crusted Lamb Chop and Carrot Cole Slaw. It is amazing, he nailed it! Aarón says he cooked the lamb perfectly and mustard crust has a wonderful heat. Scott loves the tang in the carrot coleslaw. He says, “I’ve seen you cook several times now, you are really a creative cook.”
Caroline makes Herb Crusted Lamb with Mustard-Glazed Carrots. Scott says, “My lamb is a tad overcooked, and the shortbread crumbs in the crust are burnt.” Maneet says she likes crust on the lamb and the carrots are absolutely delicious, but, unfortunately, her meat is also overcooked. Aarón agrees the meat was cooked a bit too long, but the concept and presentation are wildly creative.
And Nicholas makes Lamb Chops with Carrot Purée. Maneet likes the dish, but is disappointed in the crust on the lamb because it falls off onto the dish. Arron says :The cook on the lamb is great, but it loses a lot of seasoning because your crust just didn’t stick.” Scott liked the carrots for both presentation and taste.
And the second Junior Champion chopped is … Caroline, since her lamb was undercooked. She says, “The lamb got me this time, but I am proud of what I made, and I will keep cooking forever! Best of luck to Mason and Nicholas!”
For the Dessert Round Mason and Nicholas must cook with Raspberries, Pancake Mix, Mascarpone and Instant Coffee. Ted Allen comments to the judges that this is a great dessert basket and he wishes he would be tasting too.
During the 30 minute cooking time Mason decides he will be making a redemption crepe and Nicholas decides he will be making cream filled cupcakes. Nicholas starts to panic when his cupcakes will not come out of the silicon molds. Mason runs over to help him and shows him how to run a small plastic knife around the edges and break the seal. Nicholas thanks him and gets back on track, and Mason gets back to his own dessert.
Mason makes Crêpe with Coffee & Cream Filling and Raspberry Sauce. His plate looks amazing and the judges can’t wait to dig in. Maneet says, “I’m impressed that you were able to create such light and fluffy crêpes in such a short amount of time.” Scott asks him why he stopped to help Nicholas and Mason says, “Even though I really want to win, I don’t want to win like that. My mother taught me it’s important to help each other in the kitchen and be a good sport.”
Nicolas makes Coffee Crème Vanilla Cupcakes. They look pretty good, but Scott says he can taste raw flour in them. And Maneet says the raspberries on the side could have been incorporated into the dish better. Aarón says, “I want to compliment you on not giving up Nicholas. Even when it looked like your cupcakes were not going to work, you kept on trying.”
In the end the last young cook chopped is … Nicholas, since his meatloaf was unevenly cooked in the appetizer round and there was bits of raw flour in his cupcakes. Nicholas says, “I’m disappointed and I am super happy for Mason right now. He really earned it and if I had to lose to someone, it would be to him. This whole competition has inspired me to work harder and become an even better chef!”
That means MASON PARTAK is the first ever Chopped Junior Grand Champion!!! He wins the GRAND CHAMPION TITLE, another $35,000 for a total $50,000 and a coveted red Chopped Jr Coat! Mason is so happy he cries, and his mom comes into the Chopped Kitchen to congratulate him. Also the 3 other champs come back to receive Chopped Jr Medals. Mason says, “I am having so many crazy feelings right now! I can’t believe I won, but I am most happy that I got to cook with these amazing chefs!”