Lakehill 7th grader showcases Hanukkah on holiday episode Dec. 3
By Nicole Hawkins
A Dallas seventh grader is making her dreams come true one meal at a time as a contestant on the cooking show “Chopped Junior,” set to air Dec. 3 on Food Network.
Sabina Chamoy, 12, was chosen from thousands of applicants to compete during the holiday episode of the show. Food Network flew Chamoy and her mother, Rita, to New York City in July where Chamoy competed against three other junior chefs.
“This is a dream come true,” Chamoy said. “I never thought that this would happen to someone like me.”
Chamoy began cooking three years ago at Sur La Table, a cooking and dining retailer in Dallas, where she took cooking classes and private lessons, some from celebrity chef Tre Wilcox, who has competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters.”
“I have a really strong passion for cooking,” Sabina Chamoy said. “I think I started cooking because I was watching all of these [cooking] shows…then I started cooking and I just fell in love with it.”
During the rounds of competition, the chefs prepared holiday meals. As the only Jewish competitor, Chamoy prepared Hanukkah dishes while her competitors cooked Christmas meals.
“She was really proud to represent her faith and the Jewish people and her upbringing and all the traditions that she enjoys all of her life at Hanukkah,” Rita Chamoy said. The Chamoys are members of Congregation Shearith Israel.
“I loved being the only one for Hanukkah,” Sabina Chamoy said.
While Chamoy and her competitors were walking on set, the producers would announce “chefs walking,” she said.
“We’re just kids but they called us chefs,” Sabina Chamoy said, laughing.
Despite her love for cooking, Chamoy has her eyes set on a different career path for the future.
“I really love cooking and I think being a chef would be awesome but I do love STEM and science and all of that,” S. Chamoy said. “If I had a second choice it would be cooking.”
“[Cooking is] more like a hobby that I have a great passion for,” she said.
Chamoy said if she were to give advice to a future “Chopped Junior” contestant it would be to set their expectations high.
“I would tell them to expect the greatest because that’s what I did and it was amazing,” she said.
The “Holiday Hoopla” episode of “Chopped Junior” will air Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. on Food Network.