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Charlotte from Beachwood and her award
Charlotte's Taco Special represented Beachwood, the creation of Chef Charlotte Garbiras, but how special was it, really? 

Ben Jubert from South Toms River

South Toms River Elementary School's Ben Jubert took a risk by submitting the only dessert entry; did that bold move and the invaluable assistance of JoAnne Guild pay off? 

family support for West Dover submission

Family came out in support of West Dover's Kendal Royer, but what did the impartial judges think of her Nacho Mountain?

Featured menu item at JBJ Soul Kitchen up for grabs

East Dover winner winner Junior Chef

Chef Carly Barret from East Dover Elementary School entered her Pizza Tortilla into the mix with help from Angela Sabie ... was it enough to win the hearts of the judges?

April 18, 2024-- First it was sandwiches, then it was salads. Junior Chef 2024 posed a Mexican cuisine challenge: tacos and tortillas. And the contestants did not disappoint.

Those contestants were:

East Dover

Carly Barret and her Pizza Tortilla, with help from EDE's cafeteria worker Angela Sabie

Walnut Street

Stephanie Vargas and her Pizza Quesadilla, with help from Clare MacIver

Pine Beach

Sara Apfel and her dish called The Special, with help from Kathleen Semchesyn

West Dover

Kendall Royer and her Nacho Mountain, with help from Walnut Street's Kristen Cutrona

Hooper Avenue

Chase Gutowski and his Crunch Wraps, with help from Walnut Street's Lynn Denisco  

Washington Street

Anthony Junay and his Meat Tortilla, with helpf from EDE's Melissa Keenan

North Dover

Adelaide O’Flynn and her Organic Veggie Chili Quesadilla, with help from Walnut Street's Jennifer Lappino

South Toms River

Ben Jubert and his Fruit Roll Up, with help from Joanne Guild

Cedar Grove

Jonah James Haggerty and his Taco Dog, with help from High School North's Freida Minkema  

Silver Bay

Giuliana Muscio and her Giuliana’s Tasty Turkey Taco, with help from Danielle Morale


Lori Wilson - Charlotte Garbiras and her Charlotte’s Taco Special, with help from Lori Wilson


Nicholas Sanzara and his Buffalo Quesadilla, with help from HSN's Maria Cunha

In its third year, the event's organizer is Food Services Director Jeff Hanaway with help from Maryellen Kennedy. The venue was High School East, and judges included board members, district staff and administrators, and oversight from Chef Rob of JBJ Soul Kitchen.

The winner of this year's Junior Chef competition was East Dover's Carly Barret, whose Pizza Tortilla "won the heart of the judges," according to Kennedy. The runner--up was Beachwood's Charlotte Garbiras and her bite-sized creation, Charlotte's Taco Special. And rounding out the winners was STRE's Ben Jubert, whose Fruit Roll Up was the lone dessert entry, and was impressive enough to earn third place.

As in years past, JBJ's Chef Rob was kind enough to offer a spot on the menu to our winning chef for one week during the month of May.

For more, visit TRSTV, which live streamed the event and published it on its YouTube channel.

Congratulations to all of the Junior Chef winners and participants!

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