Savory or sweet? We’ve all struggled with that question before, but on our show, chef Jacques Pepin and his granddaughter, Shorey, actually had to choose -- because we recruited them to judge our Big Chef Little Chef Showdown!
And choosing between pizza and cupcakes definitely wasn’t an easy feat!
“It’s going to be very tough,” Jacques admits before taking on the task. “It’s like comparing a banana to an apple.”
On team savory, we have 14-year-old Petey (A.K.A. “Sauce Boss Pete”), who grew to love cooking during his battle with leukemia.
“I started cooking when I was 7 years old,” Petey explains. “During leukemia, it was kind of like my therapy.”
Since being declared a survivor, Petey has raised $11,000 for cancer research -- and he’s mastered the art of pizza with his perfect dough, sauce and toppings.
His (sweet) competitor, Julia, 13, launched her own business, J.J.’s Cupcakes, in 2016 in hopes that she’d be able to raise money for a mission trip.
“I’ve always loved to bake,” Julia explains. “And I wanted to go on a mission trip to Ethiopia, Africa, where two of my siblings are adopted from.”
In just three weeks, the determined chef raised not only enough money for her ticket, but also enough for her siblings to go with her. Not to mention that she even had extra money to donate to the people of Ethiopia.
Julia’s next goal is to raise money for her Haitian friend to go back to Haiti and reunite with her family.
And as if that’s not enough, she’s looking even beyond that.
“My long-term goal is to raise enough to get a food truck to go to downtown Nashville to give underprivileged people a cupcake,” Julia says. “So they can feel loved and welcome.”
When the two faced off on our show, we thought it would be fun to bring in a few “big chefs” to mentor them.
The “Pizza Cousins,” Francis Garcia and Sal Basille, teamed up with Petey to make his chicken pancetta ranch pizza (with homemade ranch!), while “Ace of Cakes” Duff Goldman joined Julia to make her famous apple pie cupcakes.
Because Rach wanted no part of the judging process (we don’t blame her!), she left it all up to Jacques and Shorey -- and after difficult deliberation (they raved about both), they declared Julia’s apple pie cupcake the big winner!
But because everybody’s a winner in Rach’s kitchen, Julia wasn’t the only little chef to walk away with the $2,500 prize -- Petey did, too!
Watch it all go down in the video above!