The Utah Restaurant Association is seeking teen chefs to audition for a new TV show, Teen Chef Masters. In a competition format, teens (ages 15-18) will cook alongside some of Utah’s top chefs. Viet Pham is a veteran of shows such as “The Next Food Network Star,” “Iron Chef America” and “Extreme Chef.” Logen Crew is chef of Current Fish & Oyster in Salt Lake City and Briar Handly is chef at Handle in Park City.
Auditions take place all day on beginning at 9 a.m. on July 9, at Studio Ten05 in Salt Lake City. Auditions are open to all high school students and 2015 high school grads, age 15-18 years old with a Foods 1 or ProStart 1 training. REEL People Productions, the company producing the show, asks those interested in auditioning to e-mailTCM@utahdineout.com with their name to be sure they get their name on the roster. Teens may also show up the day of without the e-mail but will have to wait for their chance to audition. Applications, including parental consent, are available on the Utah Restaurant Association’s website at www.UtahDineOut.com and must be presented the day of auditions.
The prize is a 4-year scholarship to Johnson & Wales University. (A side note here: I spent a day in culinary training at the Johnson & Wales’ Charlotte, N.C. campus several years ago. This is a great opportunity for someone serious about getting into the culinary industry.)
Matt Caputo (Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli) will host the show, which highlights the Utah Restaurant Association’s school-to-career ProStart program, and educate viewers about the Utah’s evolving food community and talent.
Viet Pham, former chef at Forage, has made a national name for himself on Food Network shows and with honors from Food & Wine magazine. Some viewers may not recognize the other two chefs, but they might have enjoyed eating their dishes over the years. Logen Crew is a poster boy for Utah ProStart, as he was a graduate of the program in his high school years. His team won the state competition and went on to place 3rd in the National ProStart Invitational. He mentored under Chef Dave Jones of Log Haven and was executive chef of Fresco Italian Cafe before going to the new Current Fish & Oyster restaurant. Chef Handly is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute and has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation and Food & Wine magazine.
Viewers can expect to see other faces familiar to the local restaurant community during the 13-episode series.
ProStart® is a two-year high school program that unites the classroom and industry to develop the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice leaders. Under the leadership and foresight of URA president Melva Sine, Utah was the pioneer state for the ProStart® program in 1996. This year the program trained over 1,200 students for careers in the food industry.
“We have been developing this television show for the last 9 years and we are honored to highlight our culture of passionate young chefs, food enthusiasts and our extensively talented restaurant community,” said Sine. “The Utah restaurant industry is diverse, exciting and constantly evolving and it’s time we showcase our state to a much larger audience. Our future is bright.”