LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Henderson County Junior Chef Team came out on top for the second year in a row in the Farm to School Junior Chef program during the championship cook off against Bath County on Friday at the Kentucky State Fair.
“Congratulations to Henderson County and to all the teams across the commonwealth that participated in the Junior Chef program this year,” Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles said. “These young chefs showcase the wonderful and delicious ways our Kentucky Proud foods can be used in a variety of recipes. The competition is a wonderful learning experience for students to pick up valuable life skills and possibly even start a career in the culinary arts. This program would not be possible without the support of the parents, teachers, and coaches of the competitors, and Sullivan University, which has stood behind this program from the beginning.”
The Henderson County Colonel’s Cookin’ Crazies team – Jasmine Satcher, Alexia Lane, Yadira Santos Santiago, and Emmarie Ligon – prepared its Awesome Chicken and Veggie Bowl. Henderson County was coached by Ginny Johnson. Each member of the team received a $10,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan University.
The Bath County Wildcat Catering Crew – Charlie Blaine Wilson and Briley Richards – finished second with its Wildcat Cater ’Tater Soup with Cat Paws Muffins. Bath County was coached by Vickie Wells. Each team member was awarded a $6,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan.
Harlan County and Greenup County were the other semi-finalists. Each member of the Harlan County and Greenup County teams received a $3,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan.
Henderson County will go on to compete in the Southeast Region Junior Chef Competition in May 2023. The Southeast Region Junior Chef Competition pits the champions of states in the southeastern U.S. in a cook off for scholarship offers from Sullivan University.
Junior Chef encourages participating students to learn how to cook by using local ingredients to prepare healthy meals while teaching students about agriculture, marketing, organization, teamwork, and community involvement. The Junior Chef season begins with district competition in the spring and continues with regional matches to determine the teams that will advance to the state fair.
The Junior Chef competition is part of the Kentucky Proud Farm to School Program, which helps Kentucky schools purchase local foods to serve to their students. Children get fresh, nutritious local foods to help them grow up healthy and strong. Local farmers get another market for their farm products. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) administers the Farm to School Program and the Junior Chef competition.
Other sponsors of the Junior Chef competition besides the KDA and Sullivan University include the Kentucky Department of Education’s School and Community Nutrition program; the University of Kentucky Extension Family and Consumer Science Nutrition Education Program; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.
Students who are interested in competing in the next season of Junior Chef must form their teams by April 15, 2023. Students are advised to see their school’s food service director or consumer science teacher for more information.
For more photos of the Junior Chef competition, visit The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Flickr page.
— Kentucky Department of Agriculture