Emma Chops the Competition


Image from Food Network

By Charlie Z., Writer

Seventh grade girl Emma M. took home ten thousand dollars on national TV in early October.

Emma was featured on Food Network’s Chopped Junior for the Halloween special that aired on Oct. 4. Chopped Junior is a cooking show in which four cooks between the ages of nine and fifteen compete through three unique rounds in order to take home ten thousand dollars in cash.

In the first round, the contestants opened up their baskets to find a lamb heart. Fun fact, the contestants actually opened the basket three times on camera in order to get the perfect shot. Emma addressed the task at hand and decided to make a salad featuring the fist-sized lamb muscle.

Emma finished her dish just in time for the judging process. Emma said, “I was confident because the salad was just another meal.” The judges thought Emma’s dish was great, and she didn’t get eliminated.

Hugh T., an eighth grader at Westminster, thought Emma’s first round was her best. Emma said, “I was pretty happy with the first round because I didn’t get eliminated, and I knew my dish tasted good. At the time I was mentally preparing for the second round, though.”

She continued, “I felt really confident coming into round two because I already did so well.” Emma cooked a pasta dish, her specialty. She said, “I was very happy to find pasta in the basket because Italian is specialty.” She worked very hard and utilized each minute she was given.

Going into the judging stage for round two, Emma said she felt pretty happy, but nervous out of her mind. The judges enjoyed her dish, but felt it needed more salt.

Emma’s nerves were on the brink of imploding before the final round. It was just her and one other contestant left in the battle. She said, “I was excited for the final round because I had already gotten past the other two.”

In the third round, the two contestants opened up their baskets to find —. Emma was ready for this round. She cooked a delicious looking raspberry tart with bacon bits and really rocked the socks off of the competition. Mrs. Heather Karvis, a teacher and dean of students, said, “I knew Emma had it during the third round.”

Emma was extremely nervous, but excited for the judging period. She said, “I had butterflies in my stomach, but I was really proud of how far I had already come.”

The judges enjoyed her dish. Emma waited for a little while for the final decision. She said, “When I won, I didn’t think it was real. The world kind of faded away, and I was just overwhelmed with excitement.”

Emma won ten thousand dollars on national TV with millions watching. She said, “I don’t know what I want to do with the money for now, but I will definitely save it.” Even though she won the contest, she still does not want to be a cook because of the long and irregular hours.

Emma really bonded with the other contestants on the show, spending a good amount of time with them during the filming period and experiencing the process with them. She still keeps in touch with them via texting and social media.