Chopped Junior contestant Valeria Quintero is an animal lover with a whole lot of ambition for a 13-year-old. Quintero hails from Queens, N.Y., and wants to be both a chef and a veterinarian. Her love of animals came from her roots in Colombia, where she spent a lot of time growing up.
Wanting to show off her Colombian cooking skills, Quintero brought to the mac and cheese-themed contest a mac and cheese churro with a pear and raspberry compote drizzled with white chocolate. Judge Nguyen Tran said, “The macaroni churro was pretty astoundingly different. I liked the balance of the acidity with the pear and the lemon with the white chocolate. It was really well composed.” And guest judge Betsy Brandt said, “I loved all the flavors. I enjoyed the whole thing.”
In the end, Quintero’s cooking took the win, and her $10,000 prize is going to help animals in need.
Chopped Junior airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the Food Network.
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