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Kentucky’s Harlan County High School is runner-up in Regional Junior Chef Competition

North Carolina edged out Kentucky on Friday – not on the basketball court, but in the kitchen.

Apex High School of North Carolina prevailed in the second annual Southeast Region Junior Chef Competition at Sullivan University in Louisville.

Kentucky champion Harlan County High School was the runner-up among the state champion high school culinary teams from six states.

“These teams are what Junior Chef is all about – teaching cooking skills, teamwork, and appreciation for fresh, nutritious local foods,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said.

Harlan County runners-up Selena Moreno and Kieran Chadwick. (Photos from Kentucky Department of Agriculture)

“Congratulations to all the participants for making it to this regional competition. We thank all the parents, teachers, and advisors who support their efforts, and we are especially grateful to Sullivan University for partnering with us on the Junior Chef program from the beginning.”

Teams from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina competed. Schools from South Carolina and Tennessee sent representatives to the competition.

Each member of the winning Apex High School team was awarded the offer of full scholarships and books at Sullivan.

Each member of the Harlan County team won a full scholarship offer from Sullivan.

Each member of the third-place team, Putnam County High School in Eatonton, Georgia, won a partial scholarship offer from Sullivan.

The Southeast Region Junior Chef Competition was hosted by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). Technical assistance was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Southeast Regional Office. 

Junior Chef is a statewide high school culinary competition founded by the KDA in 2013. The competition teaches valuable skills in recipe development, food preparation, marketing, public presentation, organization, teamwork, and community involvement.

At the same time, participating students learn about the importance of agriculture and the economic impact that purchasing local foods can have on communities. 

Kentucky’s seventh Junior Chef season is under way. Regional champions will compete for the state Junior Chef championship at the Kentucky State Fair in August in Louisville.

For more information about the Kentucky Junior Chef Program, go to this website.

Kentucky Department of Agriculture

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