Hannah Bukzin Has Some Chops

Hannah  Bukzin is a busy girl.

When she’s not volunteering as an EMT or interning with a catering company, the rising Staples sophomore can be found cooking. Her style is “classic dishes with a modern twist.” Her favorite creation is hanger steak marinated with chimichurri sauce, and a side of roasted potatoes.

But in April, Hannah found time to head to the Food Network studios in New York. There, she spent a full day filming a segment for “Chopped Teen Tournament.” The show airs Tuesday, July 29 (10 p.m.).

What makes her story particularly noteworthy — besides the fact that she is a local girl who may or may not make good (Hannah is sworn to secrecy) — is that she’s completely self-taught.

Hannah Bukzin, on the "Chopped" set)

Hannah Bukzin, on the “Chopped” set)

Hannah has been interested in cooking ever since age 6, when she saw her first — surprise! — Food Network show. The mystery and variety of ingredients drew her in.

Almost a decade later, she applied to the “Chopped” teen show. After interviews, a camera crew came to film her at EMS headquarters — and watch her cook. (That dish was pan-roasted bronzino with quinoa salad.)

She made the cut, and joined 15 other teenagers. They competed in 3 30-minute rounds, creating dishes with 4 ingredients that (a press release says) “could stump even top professionals.”

Did I mention that Hannah was the only one of the 16 who does not attend a culinary program in a specialized high school? In fact, she has not even taken one of Staples’ highly regarded culinary classes yet.

“Everything I know is in my head,” she says.

food network logoBut like any well-trained cook, Hannah knew she had to prepare. A chef friend of her parents trained her, using his own “mystery ingredients.” She is “not much of a baker,” Hannah says, so she practiced a few desserts just in case.

Filming took an entire, long day. As in any kitchen, there were surprises — and not just at the stove.

“I was amazed that the judges judged us like we were adults,” Hannah reports. “They told us the truth as if we were 30 or 40 years old, not 14 to 17.”

But in some ways, Hannah is closer to 30 or 40 than 15.

As soon as our interview was over, she was out the door.

Work beckoned. The catering company she’s interning with had a wedding.

On the Vineyard.

12 responses to “Hannah Bukzin Has Some Chops

  1. Mark Demmerle

    Awesome! I’ll be watching.

  2. bobbi essagof

    Hannah was an adult in Kindergarden! When does the show air?
    You have never surprised me but I’m always amazed!
    I’ll be forwarding this to all your fans at GFS. When does the show air?
    Mrs. Essagof

  3. Cathy Huffman

    Go Hannah!

  4. I’ll be watching.

  5. Holly Wheeler

    Hannah, I love Chopped Kids. I’ll be watching on the 29th. Hope you’re the last chef standing !!!

  6. Nadine Tanen

    Go Hannah! Fantastic achievement – Ben & I will be watching!

  7. So exciting!
    I’m commenting because I know your mom, and I’m happy for all of you!
    This is very exciting and refreshing to see how hard work and determination pay off!
    Well done!

  8. Ellen Wentworth

    Hannah, you never cease to amaze!
    Good luck!

  9. Hannah, I love working with you at EMS and have every confidence that you will be just as talented in your culinary endeavors. I already have the show programmed in my DVR as I will be working at EMS that night and don’t want to miss it.

  10. Sandi MacPherson

    Hannah, I am always happy to cook for you at EMS, so you get a break. I will be watching the program at EMS the night the program airs. My granddaught at camp in Maine will also be watch.

  11. Jessie Elsas

    Good luck from Superior Seafood . You go Hannah!!! We will be watching

  12. Hannah made such an impression with her smarts confidence and pretty smile. I enjoyed watching her on the show it with my nieces as we rooted for her. Great personality and so interesting! She should have her own show as a spinoff. Many kids can learn from her on being an over acheiver.