Winner of 2009 Best Teen Chef

June 6, 2009 at 10:58 am

From The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes:

Thirty-four high school seniors from across North America converged in Charlotte, North Carolina to slice, dice, and simmer their way through the grueling two-hour competition in pursuit of more than $200,000 in tuition scholarships at the Best Teen Chef 2009 Competition, sponsored by The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes.

For Sammy Jo Claussen, a high school senior from Kansas City, keeping her cool in the kitchen paid off big. Sammy Jo won the grand prize and title of “Best Teen Chef 2009,” becoming the tenth teenager to lay claim to the title since the Competition’s inception in 2000. The young and talented Sammy Jo received a full-tuition scholarship to study Culinary Arts at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute International – Kansas City and the opportunity to serve as “Intern for a Day” at Food Network’s Kitchens in New York City. She will also receive a tour of Food Network’s studios, dinner for two at a Food Network chef’s restaurant and a library of Food Network Kitchens cookbooks.

Competitors were given two hours to prepare three dishes from a southern-inspired menu of Curly Endive Salad with Bacon and Poached Egg, Oyster Stew, and Catfish with a Creative Garnish. The teens were judged on cleanliness, taste, presentation and more by the judging panel of culinary industry professionals.

Kaitlyn McKissick of Olathe, Kan. earned second-place honors, receiving a half-tuition scholarship to study Culinary Arts at The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institute of Colorado. Oscar Melendez of Los Angeles earned third-place honors, receiving a quarter-tuition scholarship to study Culinary Arts at The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles.

Do you know one of the star chefs of tomorrow?

To learn more about the Best Teen Chef Competition, click here.

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Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."

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