Eleven-year-old Caitlyn White of Arnold, Md., got jiggy with it on Chopped Junior, impressing the judges with her Irish dancing and her Italian wedding soup. She said she was going to “jig” her way “all the way to the winner’s circle,” and she did: The judges were impressed with the well-balanced and smoky flavors of her soup appetizer.
The competition was fun for Caitlyn, but also a much-needed distraction from the recent loss of her father, who died of melanoma cancer. Her father loved Caitlyn’s cooking, and she felt like he was there with her.
Caitlyn likes to cook with her mom and, around the holidays, her entire family, including her sister, who doesn’t like vegetables. Caitlyn claimed the secret to getting her sister to eat healthy was to hide the vegetables in her food.
In the end, Caitlyn’s cooking won the judges’ favor, but in the meantime, she stole our hearts by wanting to win the competition for her mom because “she’s so brave and strong and amazing.”
Chopped Junior airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Food Network.
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