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Kid's Cook-Off  


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2014 Central Valley Kids Cook-Off

On Saturday, September 20 at the Visalia Convention Center - during the Visalia Home EXPO - ten children, ages 6-16, who live in the adjacent Central Valley counties, will compete for top honors in our annual Kids Cook-Off.

The five finalists in two age groups (6-10 and 11-14) as selected by the staff and students at the Institute of Technology Culinary School are:

GROUP A: (ages 6-10):
NAME                                                      CITY                      SCHOOL                        
Nathan Bond, 8                        (Fresno)          Copper Hills                      

Recipe: Easy Cheese Chicken Nachos & Simple Pineapple Ice Cream

Ethan Kroll, 9                            (Fresno)          Red Bank Elementary

Recipe: Southwestern Nachos & Fruit Kabobs
Sebastian Baptista Moreira, 10 (Hanford)    Pioneer

Recipe: “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Pizza” & Sebastian’s Crazy Caprese Dressing

Katlin Rowley, 10                       (Exeter)         Rocky Hill Elementary

Recipe: Spring Rolls & Asian Shrimp with Pea Pods and Bell Peppers

Megan Shin, 10                          (Visalia)         Hurley Elementary

Recipe: Korean Mixed Rice with Meat & Vegetables (Bibimbap) and Miso Soup


GROUP B: (ages 11-16):
NAME                                                      CITY                      SCHOOL                        
Adres Ruiz-Gomez, 11              (Woodlake)   Woodlake Valley Middle School

Recipe: Macaronia & Cheese with Vegetables & Fried Chicken with Summer Squash

Katrina Henderson, 13              (Visalia)         CAVA

Recipe: Sushi Sampler Plate with Miso Soup
Kevin Henderson, 16                 (Visalia)         CAVA

Recipe: Yuppie Jumbalih with Mrs. K’s Spoon Butter Rolls      

Micah Riedmann, 11                    (Tulare)        Alpine Vista

Recipe: Cream Cheese, Garlic, Chive Stuffed Chicken & Big Stuffed Mushrooms

Lisa Shin, 14                                 (Visalia)      Redwood High School

Recipe: Vietnamese Chicken Pho Noodle & Vietnamese Egg Roll


The competition will be held at the Visalia Convention Center and each child will be paired with a student from the Institute of Technology Culinary School in Clovis. The student role will be to oversee safety, help watch the clock, and ensure the child has a successful experience.  The children present their finished recipes to four judges who are food service professionals.

Judging:Recipes will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Overall Appeal (originality, creative ingredients, sportsmanship)
  • Appearance & Presentation (visual appeal, aroma, garnish)
  • Execution of Recipe (cooked just right, not over/underdone, color, dry/moist)
  • Taste (seasoning, spices and herbs, flavor balance, tender texture as appropriate)
  • Judge’s Bonus (Judges additional points for difficulty, nutritional value, local ingredients)

First place winners receive a party for 10 from Build-A-Bear Workshop (younger group) and four passports to Disneyland Resort including a tour of their restaurant facilities (older group).  All other finalists will receive prizes from Comcast, the Visalia Mall Macy’s and JC Penney stores.

Kathy Powers, host of “Hey Kids Let’s Cook’ will emcee. As the CEO, Executive Producer, and host, Kathy Powers began the Award Winning children’s television production Hey Kids, Let’s Cook! over seven years ago.  

Her goal was and still is to help children live healthy lives by teaching them how to cook mouth-watering, nutritious recipes. Through her nearly 30 year career as a public education teacher, and personally teaching over 8,000 children and teens nutrition, cooking skills, and irresistible recipes, she knows that kids love to cook. The one of a kind, unique cooking show - Hey Kids, Let’s Cook! supports the topics that are currently a national focus: helping to lower the epidemic of childhood obesity, and reverse the rise of type 2 diabetes while encouraging children to have healthy eating habits, and make healthier choices.

The Award Winning, national PBS series Hey Kids, Let’s Cook! is currently in its 8th season. The show is now airing nationally and is currently featured on 7 of the top 10 markets including Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington D.C., serving 60% of U.S. Households.

All contestants may be videotaped during the competition for later broadcast on Hey Kids Let’s Cook!

Participating organization in the cook-off include the Boys & Girls Clubs, Girl Scouts of Central South California, Fresno Unified Schools, Tulare County Office of Education, Visalia YMCA, Visalia Parks & Rec Department, and Young Chefs Academy.


Watch last year's winner, Sarah Dresp, prepare her 2013 winning recipe and talk about her visit to Disneyland and restaurant tour!