Owen County Shows its Kentucky Proud Colors with Junior Chef Championship Dish

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Looking sharp in maroon and silver football jerseys, and working together as a team, the Owen County High School Rebels won a state championship Friday. But the sport wasn’t football. That championship won’t be played for three more months. Owen County’s “Cuisine Rebels,” sporting aprons made out of old football jerseys, won the second annual Kentucky Farm to School Junior Chef State Tournament during the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville.

            “I want to congratulate Owen County’s ‘Cuisine Rebels’ for a job well done,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “I also want to commend Owen County for using 13 Kentucky Proud products in their winning dish.”

            Owen County made potato-crusted bacon cheeseburger quiche. The competing entrées are required to contain at least five Kentucky Proud ingredients, which are grown or made in Kentucky.

            “We went above and beyond,” Owen County family and consumer science teacher Kim Webster said proudly after coaching the Cuisine Rebels to the championship over Thomas Nelson High’s “Purple Cow Crew” from Bardstown.

Owen County High School's Cuisine Rebels culinary team won the second annual Kentucky Proud Junior Chef competition Friday. Participating in the trophy presentation were, from left: Tina Garland, Farm to School coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture; Agriculture Commissioner James Comer; Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA's Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services and a Kentucky native; team members Carley Bennett, Morgan Woodyard, Kadee Carter, Hailey Chappell, and Cannon Goodrich; and Samantha Benjamin-Kirk with the USDA Southeast Regional Office's Farm to School Program. The Owen County team was coached by Kim Webster. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)

Owen County High School’s Cuisine Rebels culinary team won the second annual Kentucky Proud Junior Chef competition Friday. Participating in the trophy presentation were, from left: Tina Garland, Farm to School coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture; Agriculture Commissioner James Comer; Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services and a Kentucky native; team members Carley Bennett, Morgan Woodyard, Kadee Carter, Hailey Chappell, and Cannon Goodrich; and Samantha Benjamin-Kirk with the USDA Southeast Regional Office’s Farm to School Program. The Owen County team was coached by Kim Webster. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)

Hailey Chappell of Owen County was named Most Outstanding Chef for the state Junior Chef Tournament. Hailey is the daughter of Amy Chappell, Owen County Schools’ food service director.

Sullivan University will offer $6,000 scholarships to members of the winning team – Hailey Chappell, Carley Bennett, Kadee Carter, Cannon Goodrich, and Morgan Woodyard. Each member of Thomas Nelson’s team will be offered $4,000 scholarships. The chefs on the two other semifinalist teams, Corbin High’s “Roasting Redhounds” and Owensboro Apollo High’s “Cooking Fairies,” will have the opportunity to receive $2,000 scholarships. Sullivan offered more than $70,000 in scholarship money.

Owen County’s team received $600 from John Wiley & Sons publishing company, along with free textbooks for team members attending Sullivan’s culinary program. Wiley representative Darchelle Leggett also presented the winning chefs with a book titled “Professional Cooking” and the runners-up from Thomas Nelson with a gift bag that included books and other items.

Teams of 61 chefs from 14 Kentucky high school basketball regions faced off on the Gourmet Garden Stage in the lobby of South Wing A in the Kentucky Exposition Center during the State Fair. Junior Chef tournament organizer Tina Garland, coordinator of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program, said the number of schools and students who participated in the second statewide competition was up over the first year.

Junior Chef, which is part of the Farm to School Program, encourages high school students to learn how to cook by using local ingredients to prepare healthy meals while at the same time teaching students about agriculture, marketing, organization, teamwork, and community involvement.

The Farm to School Program connects local farmers to school districts to make fresh Kentucky Proud foods available to Kentucky children. Participating Kentucky school districts spent an estimated $468,000 on local foods during the 2012-13 school year. A total of 84 school districts are members of the Kentucky Proud program, which helps Kentucky farmers market their products to their local communities.

Press release courtesy of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *