NOCCA Culinary Student WINS Food Network’s Chopped Teen Tournament
Eliana de Las Casas, NOCCA Culinary Arts | Academic Studio, 11th Grader
New Orleans-based 16-year-old Kid Chef Eliana (Eliana de Las Casas), award-winning chef, cookbook author, and radio show host, is the winner of Food Network’s Chopped Teen Tournament.
The incredibly popular show with millions of viewers pits contestants against each other while trying to master ingredients revealed in a mystery basket. In Chopped Teen Tournament, there are four contestants in each battle with three rounds: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Each contestant receives the same ingredients and are given 30 minutes to transform the ingredients into dishes presented to three celebrity chef judges. If the judges deem the dish unsatisfactory, the contestant is “chopped.” The winner of each battle in Chopped Teen Tournament advances to the grand finale on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 to compete for $25,000.
Eliana says, “Being on Chopped Teen Tournament was one of the scariest and most exciting moments of my culinary career. Although the contestants competed against each other, we all became friends and still keep in touch. I value the experience and I hope kids and families are inspired to be adventurous in the kitchen.”
The accomplished award-winning young chef and cookbook author’s weekly radio show, “Let’s Get Cookin’,” is on New Orleans 102.3 FM WHIV (“We Honor Independent Voices”). Notable guests on her radio show feature some of the top chefs in the nation including Jose’ Andres (“Made in Spain” on PBS), Andrew Zimmern (“Bizarre Foods” on Travel Channel), Pastry Chef Gale Gand, Melissa d’Arabian (“Ten Dollar Dinners” on Food Network), former White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, and so many more.
She has staged at the famous New Orleans restaurant, Commander’s Palace, shared the cooking stage with Chef John Besh, filmed with Chef Aaron Sanchez (Food Network) and Chef Carla Hall (ABC’s “The Chew”), appeared on national television, and is currently featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not Kids Fun Facts and Silly Stories (Ripley Entertainment; September 2016) and Garvey’s Choice by award-winning children’s book author, Nikki Grimes (Wordsong; September 2016). Kid Chef Eliana attends New Orleans Center for Creative Arts where she is enrolled in the culinary arts program supported by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation.
Watch Eliana compete on Chopped Teen Tournament on Food Network on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 9pm CDT and see this teen chef represent her beloved city of New Orleans.