Daphne Baker is an 8th grader at Bedford Middle School. A typical 13-year-old, she loves hanging with friends, shopping, playing field hockey — and cooking.
That latter activity makes her a bit atypical. Tomorrow (Tuesday, January 10, 8 pm EST), she appears on Food Network’s “Chopped Junior.”
Her episode is called “Pinwheel Meals.” According to the website:
In the appetizer round, the young cooks get to find out if bok choy tastes better with bacon. An old-fashioned “pinwheel” protein stirs things up in the entree round. And cottage cheese for dessert? The junior chefs attempt to find a place for it in their final plates. Actress Maia Mitchell and chefs Marc Murphy and Luke Thomas serve as judges.
A longtime fan of the show, Daphne went through an arduous audition process. She sent in photos and videos of her cooking, then went through a series of phone and Skype interviews.
Four months later, she was selected for taping at The Chelsea Market.
The experience was “tons of fun,” Daphne says. And though the show is a contest, she became good friends with her 3 competitors.
The show was also a great exercise in making quick decisions, and executing with focus under pressure. “The process was probably more stressful for me than for Daphne,” admits her mother, Roma Tretiak.
“But she went in there with a positive attitude, and left with it too — enriched by the experience.”
Of course, confidentiality agreements prevent Daphne from telling us how she did. You’ll just have to see for yourself.
Perhaps curled up in front of the TV, with some bok choy and cottage cheese.