When we heard that Lucy Chelton won an episode of the TV show Chopped Junior by making Rattlesnake nuggets with sweet-lime Hollandaise sauce, we knew she was a cool and creative kid! Even cooler than Lucy’s cooking is her generous spirit. Lucy decided to share her prize money with Pennridge FISH, a local food bank in Perkasie, PA. We asked Lucy about her unusual recipe and learned a little bit more about her to pick up some kitchen tricks…in case we ever have to cook rattlesnake, of course.
Name: Lucy Chelton
Location: Sellersville, PA
Age and Grade: 10 years old, 4th grade
ChopChop: How did you learn how to cook?
Lucy: My dad taught me to cook. I started as soon as I was able to stand next to him on a stool – probably about 2-3 years old. I learned by watching him and him helping me.
ChopChop: How did you decide to apply to be on Chopped?
Lucy: I bugged my mom to enter me in a cooking show and she found an application online for Chopped Junior. I thought it would be fun and I liked cooking.
ChopChop: If someone hasn’t watched Chopped before, can you explain it?
Lucy: It’s a show where you get four basket ingredients in each round and after each round someone gets eliminated. There’s an appetizer, entrée, and dessert round. You have to use all four basket ingredients or you get a very good chance of getting eliminated.
ChopChop: What were the ingredients on your episode?
Lucy: Appetizer was rattlesnake, fruit cereal marshmallow treat, broccoli leaf, and sweet. Entree was lamb shoulder, pizza cake, yogurt preserved in oil, and Chinese long beans. Dessert round was longan fruit, hot espresso, fish wafer ice cream and cashew brittle
ChopChop: Rattlesnake nuggets aren’t something most kids have heard of, or eaten! How did you come up with the recipe?
Lucy: I knew anything is good deep fried and that’s what I did. The Hollandaise sauce I was taught by my mentor Chef Corey and I added the basket ingredients I knew would work.
ChopChop: Why did you decide to share your cash prize with a local food bank?
Lucy: I shared my prize because I want to give back to them and they need it more than I do. There are people that don’t have dinner every night or breakfast on the table and they are always wondering the next time they are going to eat and I don’t think it is right that it is that way. I don’t think anyone should be hungry.
ChopChop: What is something all kids should learn to cook?
Lucy: They should learn how to make eggs. They should have a good base of food to rely on, even if it is some instant stuff. They don’t want to live on peanut butter and jelly and chips when they get older, so they should at least know the basics.
ChopChop: Have you ever messed up a recipe? What was it and what happened?
Lucy: I mess up Kraft Macaroni and Cheese dinner every time I make it. I think it has been in my mind that I can’t make it and I have a block to it. I make really good homemade mac and cheese, but the instant stuff messes me up every time. I can’t tell you why I mess it up, though.
ChopChop: Do you have any advice for kids just learning to cook and who may be nervous? Or who haven’t learned but want to?
Lucy: If you are using a stove or a sharp knife, make sure you have an adult nearby. You should always use a recipe if you are just learning as a base, even if you don’t fall it fully. You need to know what temperature your meat needs to be, how long you should cook it for, and to give you an idea of how to make it. Don’t be afraid to try new things, because what’s the worst that can happen? The worst thing to happen is you mess up or don’t like it.
ChopChop: We heard you have a dream to open a restaurant. Can you tell us about it?
Lucy: I want a restaurant that people always feel welcome. I am going to have one giant table so people can interact and so nobody has to sit alone. I want people to feel that they belong there. I want them to feel like they are at home.
ChopChop: What is something you didn’t used to like to eat, but do now?
ChopChop: What is your favorite thing to cook?
Lucy: Homemade pasta.
ChopChop: What is the first thing you ever cooked?
Lucy: Probably eggs.
ChopChop: What is your secret ingredient?
Lucy: Cinnamon. I put it in a lot of my food. Cinnamon is the new garlic.