Wayland girl, 12, to compete on Food Network’s ‘Chopped Junior’ Tuesday

Maya Noyes, 12, of Wayland on the set of Chopped Junior in New York City in July.
Food Network
Maya Noyes, 12, of Wayland on the set of Chopped Junior in New York City in July.

A 12-year-old Wayland girl will test her cooking skills Tuesday night as she competes on a Thanksgiving episode of Food Network’s “Chopped Junior.”

Maya Noyes, a seventh grader at Wayland Middle School, said the judges on the children’s cooking show were impressed with her creative Thanksgiving food when she filmed the show in New York City in July.

“I was really amazed by how [the set] is so different on stage to what you see on TV and I got to meet all the other contestants and we were all really good friends. Going into the first round, it was so cool. I got to meet the judges and be in the ‘Chopped’ kitchen and cook with all the tools,” said Noyes.


Chopped contestants cook in up to three rounds and make dishes with a random assortment of ingredients. Two contestants are eliminated before two finalists compete for $10,000.

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The episode will feature the kid chefs cooking turkey meatballs, mashed potatoes, and a Thanksgiving dessert, according to Food Network.

“After the first round ... we were sent into a room where the judges talk about our dishes and decide which one of us is going home. It was very nerve-racking,” Noyes said. “I was standing there really nervous, and when Ted [Allen] pulled up the dish, he said, ‘OK, whose dish is on the chopping block?’”

Allen, the show’s host, and judges Maneet Chauhan and Amanda Freitag will be joined during the episode by guest judge David Dobrik , a social media star, according to Food Network.

“When I was about 5 years old, I was watching TV and we were just looking through channels and I came across ‘Chopped.’ I fell in love and, ever since, I kept practicing cooking,” Noyes said.


Noyes said she has big plans if she wins the $10,000 prize.

“I definitely want to buy a new set of knives because our knife set at home is not the best. I’d also put some away for culinary school in the future and for opening my own gastropub,” Noyes said.

The “Chopped Junior” episode “Turkey Day! Hurray!” airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday on Food Network.

Alyssa Lukpat can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @AlyssaLukpat.