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Different kitchen, different ingredients

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One of the youth who accesses our Drop-In Center wrote this article about a recent cooking contest we held at the First Unitarian Universalist Church at the top of Church Street in Burlington, VT, and we wanted to share it with you!

Different kitchen, different ingredients

4 teams, 3 rounds, 2 winners, 1 day


In November, six individuals from Spectrum Drop-In participated in the first ever “Chopped,” based off of the cooking show on The Food Network.

The event was held in the basement of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Burlington and lasted a total of 3 hours.

Tensions ran high within the first few minutes as contestants were forced to work together to locate tools and ingredients for their recipes.

Coming in with a wide range of culinary experience, many chefs surprised themselves with the final results of their work. Prizes were awarded to each contestant at the end of the competition. Participants are hoping for another round of Chopped sometime in the winter or early spring.

How it works:


Each round presented the chefs with unconventional ingredients to incorporate into their creations, which had to be cooked or baked and plated with reasonable presentation within a set time limit ranging from 15-30 minutes.

One team was eliminated at the end of each round. The contestants’ creations were judged based on taste, presentation, and creativity.


The entrée course in progress.


The winning dessert, incorporating graham crackers and chocolate fudge.

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