Mark the Chef on Chopped Junior

Starkville youth on Chopped Junior

From the (Jackson, MS) Clarion Ledger:

Mark Coblentz, 12, of Starkville, stirs up TV interest in the Food Network’s latest spin-off series, “Chopped Junior” this season.

The new series, which premieres at 7 p.m. Oct. 27, pits junior chefs ages 9 to 15 in competition for the Chopped Junior Champion title and a sweet reward of a $10,000 prize. The show, hosted by Ted Allen, calls on competitors to turn a mystery basket of ingredients into a cohesive, tasty and well-presented dish. Mandatory mystery ingredients range from pickled pigs feet to tofu to birthday cake. Mark’s episode will air Nov. 10.

“It was exhilarating,” Mark said of his “Chopped Junior” experience. “It was kind of an adrenaline rush because you were there and you got to see all the judges’ faces and they’re really famous. And all of a sudden you have these ingredients and your mind’s thinking about two different things and you get the adrenaline pumping and it’s crazy!”

He did learn some valuable lessons, he said, but he won’t tell what they were. “That might ruin the surprise.”

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