California Strawberries and Teen Celebrity Chef Announce #KidsCookOff Recipe Contest Winners

Taylor HillmanGeneral

cali strawberries
California Strawberry Commission today announced the winners of its summer #KidsCookOff recipe competition. Hopeful kid-foodies across the country were featured in videos preparing original strawberry recipes for a chance to win $1000 in prizes.

The top three winners were ultimately selected by teen chef, and FOX’s MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Season Three winner, Nathan Odom, who announced the results in a personal message to the winners.

Danielle McNerney, a 12 year old from Maryland, was named grand-prize-winner for her savory Strawberry Basil Quinoa Salad recipe. The former “Masterchef Junior” winner said he chose Danielle because her dish was easy, healthy and tasty.

A Food Network fan and cooking enthusiast, Danielle said, “I am completely obsessed with strawberries! I eat them almost every day. To win this contest with a dish I love is just incredible. I’m so happy to have won and I will forever remember this experience.”

Check out the video submission that got Danielle noticed by the judges.

Second place went to six-year-old Sophie with her Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups with Strawberry Marshmallow Filling demonstration. And the youngest prize-winner, four-year-old Archer, took third place with an adorable demonstration of his strawberry guacamole recipe.

The contest, open to kids ages 4-14, called for participants to prepare a simple strawberry recipe with five ingredients or less. Parents/guardians submitted videos via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

About Nathan
Chef Nathan Odom is a 13-year-old from San Diego, CA, and the Season Three winner of FOX’s MASTERCHEF JUNIOR. At the age of 10, he joined a class at his school, taught by Chef Ricardo Heredia of the Scratch Culinary Education Program, which culminated in students preparing a three-course meal at a local farm-to-table restaurant. Nathan continued home cooking for the next two years, until he saw an audition opportunity for MASTERCHEF JUNIOR. At the age of 12, he auditioned for the show, made it to the Top 19 and beat out the rest of his competitors to win the season. In the future, he hopes to go to pastry school in France or Japan, and achieve his dream of opening up a patisserie in Japan that sells modern fusion pastries.

Hit culinary competition series MASTERCHEF JUNIOR gives talented kids between the ages of eight and 13 the chance to showcase their culinary abilities and passion for food through a series of delicious challenges. Judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Christina Tosi find the next best junior chef in America, when Season Four of MASTERCHEF JUNIOR premieres Friday, Nov. 6 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

About California Strawberry Commission

The California Strawberry Commission is a state government agency located in Northern California charged with conducting research to support California’s strawberry industry. With an emphasis on sustainable farming practices, the commission works with strategic partners focusing on production and nutrition research, food safety training and education, marketing and communications, trade relations and public policy.

For more information related to California strawberries, visit

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