Local teen wins Food Network “Chopped” competition


Tommi Rae Fowler (center) grips her friend Brooke Blackston (left) and her mother Marissa Fowler (right) as the winners are about to be announced on the Food Networks program”Chopped” teen edition tournament. The finals were televised Tuesday night and a viewing party was held for family, friends and faculty at the Anderson District 1 and 2 Career and Technology Center in Williamston. Fowler is a student in the culinary arts program at the school. As the winner of the show she receives a $40,000 culinary scholarship from the Art Institute along with a $25,000 cash prize.

Food Network Teen Chef

Tommi Rae Fowler, a Wren High Junior, received national attention for her culinary skills, winning the Food Networks’ “Chopped” teen competition which was broadcast Tuesday night. Fowler was among sixteen teens who competed over five episodes to win the tournament. She will receive a $25,000 prize and a $40,000 culinary school scholarship.

Fowler, 16, was joined by about 80 people at the Anderson School Districts One and Two Career and Technology Center to watch the final episode. She takes culinary classes at the school.

Her teacher Chris Moree said he had seen an email about the network accepting applications for the program and she filled out an application for the show and was accepted as one of the contestants after an exchange of emails and Skype interviews.

The show sent a film crew to the area after she was chosen as a contestant to film footage of her at home, at Wren high school and at the Anderson Career and Technology Center where she demonstrated her cooking skills.

During each round of the competition, each competitor had three opportunities to create appealing dishes from a basket of mystery ingredients. They created an appetizer, entree and dessert. One competitor was eliminated from each round.

Fowler made a purple cauliflower soup with sauteed octopus during the first round.

Her entree was grilled antelope chops, and chocolate covered crickets were used in a dessert cake.

Fowler plans to use the scholarship and will be the first member of her family to attend college.

She said she will use the rest of her prize to purchase a car and take her family on vacation.