One of Douglas County’s up-and-coming young chefs will be featured Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. as a contestant on the Food Network’s “Chopped Junior.”
Rose Genter, a sixth-grade student at Factory Shoals Middle School, has the spark and personality for television, with a quick wit. She's also a self-described punster.
The 11-year-old budding chef started her own food blog last summer, but she said it took her several months to come up with just the right name for it. The name she finally came up with was Oh Grate! and her logo is a food grater.
“I love puns,” she said.
Rose said she currently has 36 posts on her blog “so that I have a lot of stuff for people to read when the show airs.” She makes the food and writes the posts. “I like writing and grammar,” she said. Her 16-year-old brother, Kobe, takes the photos.
“In addition to her gift of cooking, she is an outstanding student, a Shining Knight at FSMS. I am so proud of her,” said her principal Angela Carter.
Rose is featured on the episode, "Rise and Cook!"
The episode is described by Food Network as “Four young cooks set out to make the judges the most important meal of the day: breakfast! French toast and cereal are remixed in the first basket. Then, the kids struggle to make perfect eggs against the clock in the entrée round. The two finalists in the dessert round get to work with an extravagant breakfast-themed cake and a grown-up breakfast beverage.”
Rose and her mother, Crystal, had to “sneak away quietly” to New York City in October when the episode was being taped. They were sworn to secrecy about being on the show until given the nod by the Food Network and upon finding out the air date.
The winner of “Chopped Junior” will not be revealed until the show airs Tuesday night.
It was during the taping that Rose and her mother met host Ted Allen and celebrity judges Bethenny Frankel, Cliff Crooks and Geoffrey Zakarian. Rose admitted that judges Cliff and Geoffrey were “her favorites.”
“It was very cool being on TV,” Rose said. “It was a great experience. We met great families and great kids.”
Her mother said it was nice because the kids on the show “all bonded together because they all had the same interest.”
This was not Rose’s first attempt at being selected for a cooking show, and she said it wouldn’t be her last. Spoken like a future celebrity chef, Rose said she has “plans to keep on the show route.”
The journey of getting through the first hurdle of Chopped Junior wasn’t without challenges. Her mother signed her up, then went through a lengthy process before the letter came announcing Rose’s selection.
“We submitted an online application and did Skype interviews and cooking videos of signature dishes,” said Crystal.
The middle school student has taken cooking to a whole different level. She not only prepares dishes “from scratch,” she makes most of her ingredients from scratch as well.
“Rose started to cook about two years ago consistently,” Crystal said. “She liked cooking before then but didn't do it as often. The cookbook that really got her interested was ‘The Homemade Pantry.’ She learned to make brown sugar, vanilla extract, mozzarella cheese, homemade pasta, graham crackers and much more.”
Rose also makes beef jerky and gummy bears from scratch. By doing so, she “cuts out a lot of preservatives.” The young chef prepares a lot of soup and cooks a lot of vegetables.
Her favorite ingredient —one she said she “could never live without” — is pasta, which yes, she makes from scratch.
She has been blessed with a palate that savors almost all different types of food —except one.
“I like all different types of food except Indian, which require a lot of spice,” Rose said. She attributes an appetite for a broad variety of food to her maternal grandmother, a resident of south Georgia and master gardener who also taught her granddaughter canning and how to pick beans and corn — which she also shucks.
Remember that while Rose is fast becoming a serious chef, she is also a middle school girl, so don’t be surprised that she creates edibles such as “Unicorn poop cookies” and “Ear Wax on a Stick” made with caramel and pretzels.
Not only can Rose be described as a foodie, she can also be described as a cooking show junkie.
Her mother said Rose watches many cooking shows, but her favorite is “Good Eats” with Alton Brown.
“That was the show that really made her love cooking,” said Crystal. “She likes the science behind cooking and his show does a great job of teaching that.”
The aspiring chef may soon also become a budding author, as she is “trying to write a cookbook.”
Rose, still in the sixth grade, already has her future career plans laid out. She wants to begin work at a restaurant when she turns 16 and upon graduation, attend the Culinary Institute of American in New York. After that she wants to work in a restaurant before opening one of her own “and hire a lot of people.”