Chopped Teen Tournament, Season 2: Meet the Competitors

Get to know the 16 teens competing for $25,000 in Season 2 of Chopped Teen Tournament.
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Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Meet the Tournament's Teen Competitors

This second season of Chopped Teen Tournament features four preliminary rounds, airing Aug. 25, Sept. 1, Sept. 8 and Sept. 15. The winner from each of those rounds will compete in the finale on Sept. 22 for a chance to win $25,000 and the title of Chopped Teen Champion. These 16 talented young adults are competing for that opportunity. Get to know what they're all about.

Round 1: Anna

For as long as Anna, 15, can remember, she's always been by her mother's side in the kitchen, especially during the holidays. Currently a freshman, Anna enjoys the academic challenges. Her extracurricular activities include theater, writing short stories and poems, and singing. With a fun personality, Anna tends to be eloquent around adults, but she's silly around kids her own age.

Round 1: Franco

Franco, 14, can remember that when he was 6 or 7 his dad let him make a risotto by standing on a chair because he couldn't reach the stove. Since then Franco's been passionate about cooking rustic Italian food and South American food, and he has gotten most of his experience from experimenting in the kitchen. Besides cooking, Franco loves to play golf and runs his own gelato business, Franco Gelato.

Round 1: Theo

Theo, 17, spent his childhood in the Dominican Republic and New York. Inspired by a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, he first started cooking at the age of 4, and at 9 he attended the Vermont Culinary Academy. Now in high school, Theo loves to cook, and he even practices with mystery baskets. He also loves sports and considers himself very artistic.

Round 1: Yazmene

When Yazmene, 16, was little she loved to watch her dad cook; it convinced Yazmene's mom to buy her an Easy Bake Oven at the age of 7. By the age of 9, Yazmene was already determined to become a chef. She currently attends a tech culinary school where she cooks 10 hours per week, and she serves as a teacher's assistant. Besides cooking, Yazmene loves track and field, and cross country.

Round 2: Alyssa

Alyssa, 17, always found cooking to be a happy distraction from anything that might have bothered her. She typically cooks meals for her family every night and knows she wants to be a chef. Instead of following trends, Alyssa likes to set her own, considering herself very independent. Besides cooking, she competes in Irish step dancing, and she watches Food Network religiously.

Round 2: Nino

Born in Sicily, Nino, 16, moved to the States with has dad about two years ago. Food has always been at the center of his family's life, and Nino grew up on the farm where his family grows olives for olive oil. Nino first began cooking by his nonna's side at the age of 4, and he's been hooked since. Being in America continually inspires Nino to be even more creative and experimental in the kitchen.

Round 2: Peter

Peter, 13, started cooking at the age of 7 out of curiosity. Peter is home-schooled, competitive and very driven to be the best. He also considers himself the boss of the kitchen, where he cooks meals for his family. When he's not being tutored, Peter takes culinary lessons. He's also into music, fashion and the arts, and he wants to pursue the culinary arts.

Round 2: Salma

Salma, 15, only started cooking about two years ago, when her mom invited her into the kitchen for a lesson in Egyptian cooking. Salma loves the fact that cooking has no boundaries and now likes to cook for her family. Salma is currently a student at a rigorous tech school. She considers her personality and style of cooking bold. She'd eventually like to pursue a career in neurology or chemistry.

Round 3: Alexina

Growing up in a large Greek family, Alexina, 14, was surrounded by food. In fact, her grandma owns a Greek diner, where Alexina waits tables. The strong work ethic she's learned from her family carries over into other parts of her life: She's an honor roll student and a cheerleader. Despite a heart condition, Alexina doesn't let any challenges hold her back. She'd like to be a private chef for the disabled or a doctor.

Round 3: Allison

Allison, 13, started cooking at the age of 3 alongside her mom and has the photos to prove it. She loves watching food television and getting exposure to different cuisines. Allison enjoys baking pastries and thinks desserts should start a meal and not end it. She currently attends a private school, where she enjoys science. She would love to have a career as a chef and doctor.

Round 3: Eliza

Growing up with a mom who cooked every night, Eliza, 13, wanted to cook from the start. Her mom started teaching her at the age of 5, and now Eliza cooks on her own, often inspired by cookbooks. She currently attends an independent school and hopes to become a marine biologist one day. She loves molecular gastronomy, always finding an opportunity to add a bit of science to her cooking.

Round 3: Jarren

From a small town in Pennsylvania, Jarren, 14, likes to pass the time cooking with his mom or hunting with his dad. In the beginning he was his mother's assistant, but now he's taken the reins in the kitchen, where he likes to improvise with pantry ingredients. He'd eventually like to open a small-town restaurant serving comfort food. When he's not in the kitchen, Jarren's the class clown at school.

Round 4: Danny

Danny, 15, started cooking at the age of 7 after watching Food Network. He says he never ate kid food, but grew up on his mom's and grandma's Ukrainian cooking. He often cooks family meals, and he recently presented his parents a 15-course dinner for their wedding anniversary. Besides cooking, Danny wrestles and ballroom dances. His dream is to run a fine-dining contemporary American restaurant.

Round 4: Justin

Despite growing up in a dangerous neighborhood, Justin, 16, took being stuck inside as an opportunity to learn to cook from his parents and grandma. For as long as he can remember, he's wanted to be a chef. Because his parents are diabetic, Justin focuses on cooking healthy meals. He's as religious about his cooking as he is devoted to his faith, and his dream is to open a bible-themed restaurant.

Round 4: Olivia

Olivia, 13, has always been surrounded by strong culinary influences: Her dad is a chef and culinary instructor, and much of what Olivia's learned about cooking started with her mom. Being diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 6 forced Olivia to be very aware of food and its effect on the body, and she maintains a healthy outlook. Olivia is an extremely competitive athlete, playing lacrosse and swimming.

Round 4: Veronica

Traveling all across the United States and Europe because her parents are in the military, Veronica, 15, learned to be highly adaptable. She started to pick up cooking from her grandma and now enjoys experimenting in the kitchen on her own with one important goal: Everything must be homemade. She has aspirations of being on Broadway and dreams of opening a cafe one day.

Go Inside the Tournament

Keep coming back for more on the competition, including behind-the-scenes photos, videos and interviews with the winners of each round.

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