Salem student just misses 'Chopped' teen title

SALEM – A South Salem High School student made it to the final round of the "Chopped" teen tournament but a mistake in the appetizer portion cost her a chance at the title.

Sequoia Pranger made it through her first test on the Food Network cooking show last Tuesday. She turned a rocky start into a fabulous finish after she found her bearings.

She had to make three different courses—an appetizer, an entree and dessert—out of ingredients from "mystery baskets."

She beat out four other young chefs in Part 4 of the competition. In Wednesday's episode, she took on the winners of parts 1, 2 and 3.

Unfortunately, she left out kumquats in an octopus appetizer during the finale. While judges said her entry tasted the best, she had neglected to include that required ingredient.

Food Network: Chatting with Sequoia, the part 4 winner

At her young age, Pranger's cooking has already sort of come full circle with her appearance on show. She told interviewer Joseph Erdos she was always interested in cooking, but Food Network actually taught her how to do it right.

In addition to the $25,000 prize the first-ever Chopped Teen Tournament winner received a $40,000 culinary school scholarship.

Interview with winner Tommi Rae


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