The Food Network show Chopped pits four chefs against one another as they try to impress the judges, who chop a loser after each course.
Usually, these chefs are old pros.
Tonight (Tuesday, July 2, 10 p.m.), producers put four teens out there - among them Lower Gwynedd's Mikey Robins, 15.
Mikey, going into his sophomore year at Germantown Academy, may not be old but he is a pro.
He's been cooking his whole life, he explains - simple meals (the omelet and home fries he made himself for breakfast) to big family parties (he's the youngest of Kevin and Linda Robins' four kids). He's partial to Italian food. His earliest food memory is at age 3 or 4 helping his mother make congo bars (chocolate-chip blondies).
Let's make it clear that he does have two advantages: his parents used to operate a Young Chefs Academy in North Wales and the family has two kitchens. One for everyone else and one for you? "That's how I like to think of it." he replied.
After applying to appear on the show, Mikey landed an in-person interview in New York. Since he enjoys party planning, he brought photos of five dishes he'd serve at one and, for good measure, brought up walnut loaves for the casting people to try.
His goal is to study broadcasting and combine that with culinary experience. "I want to be the youngest Food Network host," he said. "I know I can reach a younger audience." Down the road, he'd like to create a lifestyle brand, much as Rachael Ray and Oprah Winfrey have.
His rivals tonight are Emma Scher of Ridgewood, N.J., Tyler Bloch of Jericho, N.Y., and Molly Bhuiyan of Bronx, N.Y.