Chappaqua Resident To Compete On Food Network’s Chopped Junior

With recipes like grandma’s meat sauce to shrimp orzo, this 11-year-old plans to bring her A-game to the cooking station.

11-year-old Zoe Gellert, of Chappaqua, will be taking on Food Network this “Chopped-tober,” in its new show, Chopped Junior. The stakes are high as Gellert goes head-to-head with 11 other kid chefs for the title of Chopped Junior Champion and a grand prize of $10,000.

At the age of 3-years-old, before taking a shot at cooking, Gellert started out baking with her grandmother. “I make everything: cupcakes, cookies, cakes, pies,” she said.

With a family that loves to cook, it’s no wonder where Gellert gets her passion. “I want to be able to sell my food, like my aunt,” she said. Her aunt is the owner of Meringue Queen in Harrison.

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Raving about her favorite things to cook, Gellert stated, “seafood and vegetables. There’s nothing you can’t do with vegetables.”

According to Gellert, you can use any part of a fish to make a gourmet meal, even the bones. The refined palette of this 11-year-old is astonishing, and it’s not unexpected that Gellert loves cooking for her family at home.

Among Gellert’s favorite Food Network shows are Guy’s Grocery Games, Chopped, and Cupcake Wars, where she often gets ideas for new recipes and cooking tips. Gellert gushed over the awe of filming for television.

“I’ve never been on a TV show,” she said. “It’s so cool being in your own station and having everything around you be real.”

Gellert will be featured on the show for her capable cooking skills. However, like any other kid she loves extra-curricular activities. “I’m a big athlete,” she said, with sports like basketball, tennis, soccer, and dance under her belt. “I blocked the most goals in our league,” she boasted about her favorite sport, soccer.

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Even with a hefty prize on the table, Gellert isn’t just looking for a payday. She plans to use the money for good. 

“I feel bad walking by them. I see people ignoring them sometimes, so I give them money,” she said about the homeless population in New York City, to whom she also gifts the occasional sweet treat. “I want to start an organization to donate food to the people in New York City.”

Chopped Junior premieres October 27 on Food Network. 

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