The Bath County Junior Chef Team came out on top in this year’s Farm to School Junior Chef program on Friday at the Kentucky State Fair. Kentucky Ag Commissioner, right, presented team members Dalten Lee and Blaine Wilson with the coveted skillet award. For more pictures from the event, click here. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture)
Bath County wins Junior Chef Championship
LaRue County runner-up in annual high school culinary competition
FRANKFORT (Aug. 25, 2023) - The Bath County Junior Chef Team came out on top in this year’s Farm to School Junior Chef program during the championship cook off against LaRue County on Friday at the Kentucky State Fair.
“Congratulations to Bath 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. “It’s wonderful to see these young chefs showcase their skills and all the delicious ways Kentucky Proud foods can be used in a variety of recipes. The competition is an excellent way for students to pick up valuable life skills and possibly 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 Bath County Wildcat Catering Crew team – Blaine Wilson and Dalten Lee – prepared its Wilsons Frittata and Richards Fruit Cup. Bath County was coached by Vickie Wells. Each member of the team received a $10,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan University.
The LaRue County Hungry Hawks – Austin Harp, Noah Selman, Amy Johnson, and Haley Hines – finished second with its Chicken Tacos with Hawk-O Seasoning and a Mexican Corn Elote Bowl. LaRue County was coached by Abe Miller. Each team member was awarded a $7,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan.
Montgomery County finished third in the competition. Each member of the Montgomery County teams received a $5,000 scholarship offer from Sullivan.
Bath County will go on to compete in the Southeast Region Junior Chef Competition in May 2024. 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 are advised to see their school’s food service director or consumer science teacher for more information.Flickr page.