West Rockhill girl to appear on ‘Chopped Junior’

Junior chef and West Rockhill resident Lucy Chelton poses at her station, as seen on Food Network “Chopped Junior,” Season 3.

Among the contestants on the Aug. 2 episode of Food Network’s “Chopped Junior” will be a local girl who will celebrate her 10th birthday 11 days after the show airs.

“I had a blast. I would do it again,” said Lucy Chelton, a student at West Rockhill Elementary School, who will be entering fourth-grade. “It’s harder than it looks (on TV).”

To prepare for the taping, which took place in New York City in April, a chef friend of Chelton’s father concocted “Chopped”-style ingredient baskets for her that included dates, tomatillos, cherry pie and liverwurst.

However, there was one delicacy that found its way into the aspiring kid chefs’ ingredient baskets that none of them could’ve been ready for. “In the first round, there was rattlesnake,” Chelton revealed.

Chelton’s mother, Miki, commented that host Ted Allen and the episode’s judge panel of New York chef and Food Network personality Amanda Freitag, Brazilian chef Raiza Costa and Chris Colfer from “Glee” were “as nice as they look on TV.”

The show is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

“I started cooking when I could get on a stool next to my dad,” Chelton said, adding that her skills developed because she was allowed to handle knives at an age that would make many parents nervous. She said her signature dishes are Italian entrees with pasta, as well as stuffed mushrooms and chicken. When asked if she’d ever cook rattlesnake again, she said: “If someone asked me to, I would.”

While in New York for four days, mother and daughter visited the American Girl store and Rockefeller Center (the ice skating rink was open at the time).

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