Emily Roche’s Louisiana-inspired dessert put her over the top on Food Network’s “Chopped Junior” Tuesday night.
The Mandeville Middle School sixth-grader, 12, bested three other young cooks to win the “Chopped Junior” chef’s coat and a cool $10,000.
In the final round, Emily went one-on-one with Zoe Gelsi, of Montclair, New Jersey. The girls were tasked with whipping up a meal-ender using star fruit, lemonade, Bugles corn snacks and a rainbow tie-dyed cake.
Emily looked no further than New Orleans for her inspiration and concocted a sweet bread pudding from the cake, incorporating the other ingredients in her toppings.
Emily, who first learned how to cook from watching her mother and grandmother, has honed her kitchen skills at Culinary Kids in Mandeville for four years and is enrolled in advanced classes.
Her parents are Chris and Jamie Roche.