Have you noticed that the contestants on some competition style-reality TV shows seem to be getting younger and younger? To be perfectly honest, watching teenage contestants is a refreshing break from the usual drama-ridden, “unscripted” reality TV shows that pop up on nearly every single TV station. These programs showcase the raw talent of their contestants with kindhearted and friendly competition. Out of all of the reality shows that are attracting a younger crowd of contestants, cooking style competitions are seeing the most!
Many already popular cooking competitions are starting their own spin-offs or are featuring special episodes, such as Chopped, Master Chef and Cupcake Wars. From these shows, we have seen MasterChef Junior and teen versions of both Cupcake Wars and Chopped. Young culinary students even find their way into regular episodes of Chopped and, surprisingly enough, they do pretty well against their more seasoned competition. What these programs have shown us is that not only are some teenagers more talented in the kitchen than their adult counterparts, but that creativity and passion can play a huge role in someone’s life, regardless of their age.
What’s even better is that the grand prizes for the teenaged winners of these shows are no joke. Just like its adult counterpart, the winner of MasterChef Junior wins $100,000, which is a serious chunk of change! The winner of Chopped Teen wins a scholarship to the International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes – a prize valued at over $40,000! It might not be $10,000 cash, but a $40,000 scholarship can be an invaluable start to a young professional’s culinary career.
The show that is perhaps starting chefs off at the youngest age is Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off. The grand prize winner will have their career as a young chef kicked off in the best way possible: a web-series on FoodNetwork.com.
Aside from the teen cooking competitions that currently air on television, similar competitions hosted by culinary schools and companies (such as Pillsbury) are growing in popularity, as they attract more and more young chefs each year. Schools such as Star Career Academy, which have Culinary and Baking Programs, are even hosting their own inter-school competitions where winners win a trophy (and bragging rights) for their campus.
In a final message to any young chefs out there: cooking competitions are a great way to show off your skills, whether you are serious about a career in the culinary industry or are just passionate about cooking as a hobby. What you might think is just a hobby could lead to a great career one day! Check here more information on culinary programs and careers you could have if you want to consider joining this fun, rewarding, and delicious industry!