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Turlock culinary camp looking to crown Junior Iron Chef

For those parents who have children whose culinary ambitions run beyond pouring a bowl of Fruit Loops cereal or slamming together peanut butter and jelly between two slices of bread, the incarnation of an Iron Chef contest geared towards young cooks may just be the right bill of fare.

The Turlock Downtown Property Owner’s Association in partnership with the Turlock Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department, is hosting a one-day culinary camp for children between the ages of 10 to 14 years who have a hankering to test their skills in the kitchen.

Junior Iron Chef will pair up a maximum of 40 kids with 10 professional chefs from Turlock eateries, including Bistro 234, Green Grub, and 10 East Kitchen and Tap Room. Each team of four will be tasked with preparing an appetizer and an entrée in an allotted time. All the food will be tasted and scored by a guest panel of judges and a winning team crowned Turlock’s Junior Iron Chef.

“We’re pretty excited about it and hope that this will turn into a series of culinary classes,” said TDPOA Executive Director Gina Loretelli.

All the team’s will be working with the same proteins, but will have a chance to vary up their ingredients with a trip to the Turlock Certified Farmers’ Market prior to the start of the competition.

The Junior Iron Chef competition is set for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Turlock Senior Center. Registration, which is limited to 40 kids, opens Aug. 17 and closes Sept. 4. The cost of the culinary camp is $50 and includes an apron and the farmers’ market shopping trip.

There will be a prize for the winning team, but it has yet to be determined, Loretelli said.

“Whatever the prize is, we’re hoping that the winning dish will be featured at the chef’s restaurant,” Loretelli said.

The cooking portion of the contest will be open to public view at the Senior Center.

Loretelli said registration for the culinary camp can be done through the Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department at 668-5594.