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Calling all junior foodies across P.E.I.

Emery Wood jumps with excitement the moment his name is announced as the winner of the first Junior Chef Challenge at last year’s P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival. Looking on with excitement behind him is his sous-chef Mark Singson, who was the runner-up in season six of Top Chef Canada. On the left is fellow competitor Annabella Sly.
Emery Wood jumps with excitement the moment his name is announced as the winner of the first Junior Chef Challenge at last year’s P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival. Looking on with excitement behind him is his sous-chef Mark Singson, who was the runner-up in season six of Top Chef Canada. On the left is fellow competitor Annabella Sly. - Contributed

Chef Michael Smith is inviting young chef wannabes to compete in the second annual Junior Chef Challenge

The 2019 P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival is just a few months away, and host chef Michael Smith is inviting young chef wannabes to compete in the second annual Junior Chef Challenge presented by Dairy Farmers of Canada.

This September, six aspiring chefs ages nine to 15 will show off their kitchen skills and creativity while vying to win the $1,000 cash prize.

Emery Wood, last year’s winner, is proud of his creation, Seafood Linguine.

“It had clams, mussels, lobster, scallops and shrimp, in a cheesy cream sauce,” said Emery.

The Grade 4 student at Spring Park School bought a few toys and put the rest of his $1,000 prize in the bank.

“My favourite part about the Junior Chef Challenge was winning,” he said.

"It's a great chance to have some fun in a supportive environment and learn, too,” said Smith. “Each competitor will have their own senior chef to assist them and a friendly crowd cheering them on.”

"It's a great chance to have some fun in a supportive environment and learn, too. Each competitor will have their own senior chef to assist them and a friendly crowd cheering them on.”

- Chef Michael Smith

Besides P.E.I. shellfish like mussels, oysters, lobster and clams, the Junior Chef competitors must also include a minimum of one dairy ingredient.

“We are convinced that shellfish, milk or cream and cheese make a perfectly delicious union in any recipe,” said Isabelle Neiderer, director, nutrition and research of the presenting sponsor, Dairy Farmers of Canada.

“We are so proud to see the chefs of tomorrow developing dishes that make the most of Canadian dairy products, along with the Island’s delicious fresh seafood.”

To keep the junior chefs on their toes, Smith will throw in one surprise ingredient from his own garden to be included along with shellfish and milk products. The junior chefs will have 45 minutes to prepare a shellfish masterpiece and win the judges over with their creativity, plate presentation and inspired tastes.

To enter, young people should complete the form at peishellfish.com and submit a short video before June 10.

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