Glenview teen competes on Food Network

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Jake will be featured in a new episode of "Chopped Junior," where kid-chefs face off in a three round elimination cook-off. (WLS)

Familiar sounds fill a familiar scene: a ready-for-TV gourmet chef's kitchen. But unexpected is the cook- blanching broccoli, searing ribeyes and wielding a knife.

He's 13-year-old Jake Dizon from Glenview, and one of Food Network's newest contestants.

Tuesday night, Jake will be featured in a new episode of "Chopped Junior," where kid-chefs face off in a three round elimination cook-off.

"You start out in the first round, you're given a mystery box with four mandatory ingredients. You have to use those in your cooking. And then the challenge is to work with all of the crazy ingredients they throw at you," Jake explained.

Before Jake donned an apron, he went through an application process including a Skype interview and two phone interviews. Long. But, for him, also worthwhile.

"It was an extremely fun experience, super exciting. And I would probably say so far the best experience of my life."

This passion didn't sprout up overnight and has blended with Jake's other interests.

"I think a lot of it has to do with... he loves science and he loves weird flavor combinations and he approaches cooking much like science and much like a science experiment," said his dad, Mike Dizon.

Jake's parents say he's the best cook in the house-not surprising when you hear Jake's twist on a usually simple classic:

"I think the first time he made mac and cheese from scratch it was a Gouda truffle mac and cheese. And it was really good," laughs his mom, Niki Dizon.

And three years after Jake advanced beyond cracking eggs for her, he has a signature dish.

"Seared steak, rice pilaf, mushroom cream sauce, roasted vegetables and blanched broccoli."

"We make a good team because he loves to cook and we love to eat," his dad said matter-of-factly.

His little brother Liam's a fan too.

"It's really good."

Jake has the lingo down. His food? Mouthwatering. And he can even plate the dish.

Now we'll just have to see if the Chopped Junior judges feel the same way.

The show airs Tuesday night at 7 p.m. central time.
Related Topics:
foodfoodcooking chefchildrenGlenview
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