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Encouraging your teenagers to cook may need some….encouraging.  One of our restaurant chefs recently helped his son and his friends find inspiration in cooking by creating a “Chopped” food competition.  This activity is ideal for youth groups, siblings, or a party.  Here is how one of our Chefs, Steve Hall, organized the “Chopped Event”.

 Start with a theme – our theme was “Breakfast”.  The youth created a breakfast entrée out of mystery items as well as pantry items.  We stocked the pantry with eggs, butter, spices, flour, sugar, etc., then we created a “mystery basket” of 4 items to be incorporated into the dish.  They were given 35 minutes to consult, prepare and cook their entrée and then present to a group of judges (parents). 

AsburyChopped2013 002The mystery items we chose were:

  • Pears
  • Parsley
  • Goldfish
  • McDonald’s French fries

 Teams were seleceted and divided into two groups.  They were also given a one time pass to consult with the chef.

 Both teams quickly reviewed the items and grabbed from the pantry items and planned their entrée.  One team worked on creating an omelet, the other team prepared a puffed pastry mini egg casserole.  After a 10 minute warning, the kids started to feel the pressure of time management and getting an end product plated in time.  When time was called, one group was finished, while the other group learned that baking a casserole took longer than they expected.  To make the tasting fair, we gave them extra time so they could present a finished product. 

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In the end, we got to taste two awesome breakfast entrees that tasted great.

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The groups were creative, learned about time management and how to work as a team.  The mini egg casserole was the winner, but both teams really won and can’t wait to do it again.  Best of all, the parents were shocked that “their child” prepared a dish!  Cooking with teenagers is fun, just make it fun.

 Our theme for the next “Chopped” competition:  Dessert