Pretend you’re on a television set, under studio lights and immense pressure to cook a dish so delicious that you impress Chopped Junior celebrity judges and make it to the next round. Don’t forget over 20 camera are watching, and you’re given four random ingredients to cook with only moments before the 30-minute clock starts ticking. That’s difficult enough for an adult … imagine what’s it’s like for a child!

But that’s exactly what happened to 10-year-old Lindsay Hayes during her time as a contestant on Food Network’s national television show Chopped Junior, vying for the $10,000 prize.

Using creative cooking skills, Lindsay competed against three other kids in her episode, representing her home town of Elk Rapids. Before her Chopped Junior program premieres at 8 p.m. on July 5, she shared her experiences on the show with MyNorth Media. Plus, the young cook whipped up some phenomenal sweet potato gnocchi for us at the Bluebird Restaurant in Leland!

Discover how Lindsay prepared to cook for Chopped Junior host Ted Allen, and celebrity judges Chef Roblé Ali, Chef Marc Murphy, and Jennie Garth in this MyNorth Media video. Then tune in July 5 at 8 p.m. to watch Lindsay cook her heart out on Food Network’s Chopped Junior.

In addition, wave at Lindsay Hayes during the 2016 National Cherry Festival’s Junior Royale Parade July 7. She’s the Grand Marshal! 

More Northern Michigan Kids

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Photo(s) by Jake Burgess