The Henderson County Junior Chef Team won the Junior Chef championship cook off Friday at the Kentucky State Fair. The competition is part of the Kentucky Proud Farm to School Program. Pictured are, from left, Bill Wickliffe of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) Farm to School Program, Henderson County team members Jasmine Satcher, Elijah LeDoux, Tyler Brocato, and Mark "Drew” Neal, Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles and Tina Garland of the KDA’s Farm to School Program. The Henderson County students received $12,000 culinary scholarships to Sullivan University.
Henderson County wins Junior Chef Championship
Montgomery County runner-up in annual high school culinary competition
LOUISVILLE (August 27, 2021) – The Henderson County Junior Chef Team came out on top in the Kentucky Proud Junior Chef program during the championship cook off against Montgomery 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. “Junior Chef 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 team – Elijah LeDoux, Tyler Brocato, Brittany Littlepage, Mark “Drew” Neal, and Jasmine Satcher – prepared a pork burger with spicy slaw. Henderson County was coached by Charlotte Baumgartner and Ginny Johnson. Each member of the team received a $12,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan University.
The Montgomery County 4-H Junior Chefs – Haley Stinson, Leda Havens, Tanner Cambell, Lance Munday, and Breonica McKinney – finished second with their Philly Sloppy Joe and veggie slaw with green apple vinaigrette. Montgomery County was coached by Lee Etta Greer. Each team member was awarded an $8,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan.
Harlan County and LaRue County were the other semi-finalists. Each member of the Harlan County and LaRue County teams received a $4,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan.
Henderson County will go on to compete virtually in the Southeast Region Junior Chef Competition in October. 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. Participants compete for a full-tuition scholarship offer 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 tournament.
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 Family and Consumer Science program and its 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 March 2022. 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.