Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, center, presents the 2015 Farm to School Junior Chef championship trophy to members of the Anderson County High School “Culinary Cats:” from left, Ally Hayes, Gracie Inabnitt, Mary Grace Bamburger, Christina Montgomery, and Abby Coyle. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)
Anderson County captures 2015 Junior Chef crown
For Immediate Release
Friday, August 28, 2015
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The “Culinary Cats” of Anderson County High School clawed their way to the 2015 Kentucky Proud Farm to School Junior Chef championship Friday at the Kentucky Exposition Center.
Team members Christina Montgomery, Gracie Inabnitt, Mary Grace Bamburger, Abby Coyle, and Ally Hays won the third annual Junior Chef tournament with a Baked Hot Brown Penne. Anderson County was coached by Jessica Harley and Jamison Nethery.
“These young people did an excellent job of creating a recipe and preparing it with Kentucky Proud foods,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “All the participants in this year’s competition picked up skills that will serve them all their lives. At the same time, they learned that buying Kentucky Proud foods is good for them and good for Kentucky farmers.”
Pikeville High School’s Layered Taco Bowl took runner-up honors. The Pikeville team consisted of Ja’Mesa Honaker, Zane Akers, and Colin Elder, and was coached by Kelly Scott.
Each Anderson County member won the opportunity for a $6,000 scholarship from Sullivan University. Each Pikeville member won the opportunity for a $4,000 scholarship from Sullivan. Members of Owensboro Apollo and Fleming County, the other semi-finalists, each won the opportunity for a $2,000 scholarship. Sullivan also presented a knife set to Anderson County. John Wiley & Sons awarded $600 to the winning team and a copy of “The Visual Food Lover’s Guide” to every contestant.
Montgomery was named Top Chef of the tournament and won an additional $2,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan.
Junior Chef encourages high school 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 tournament. Junior Chef teams are made up of three to five students in grades 9-12. More than 152 students from 38 teams participated this year.
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 foods to help them grow up healthy and strong. Local farmers get another market for their farm products.
The Farm to School Program and the Junior Chef competition are administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. For more information, contact Tina Garland, the KDA’s Farm to School Program Administrator, at (502) 382-7505 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.kyagr.com/junior-chef.