Caribbean Roots 11-Year-Old Is ‘Junior Chef Showdown’ Champion

A Toronto-born, Caribbean roots 11-year-old is the winner of the ‘Junior Chef Showdown’ competition. 

ARANnazCaribbean roots Nazaree Arandjelovic won the TV cooking competition on Food Network Canada’s “Junior Chef Showdown.”Nazaree Arandjelovic won the TV cooking competition on Food Network Canada’s “Junior Chef Showdown.” 

“I wasn’t the loudest chef in the kitchen,” said Nazaree Arandjelovic of her time on the show, where according to her father, Owen Arandjelovic, she “just channeled her energy in creating her dishes.” 

The dishes that Arandjelovic created, which according to the Toronto Star she describes as “elevated comfort food,” – gave classic recipes unexpected twists, with elements inspired by her Caribbean heritage. 

Both first-generation Canadians, her parents were heavily influenced by the backgrounds of their own parents - who hailed from Curaçao, Trinidad and Jamaica - when it came to food, religion and entertainment. 

“My family all gathers together at my grandma’s for Sunday dinner, which is a big tradition in Caribbean culture,” Arandjelovic was quoted as saying. “We have traditional Caribbean foods like rice and peas and stewed chicken.” 

Arandjelovic won the coveted championship title and $25,000 in prize money.