Most kids are confident enough in the kitchen to make a bowl of cereal or a simple sandwich, but the six children participating in United Way's Youth Cooking Challenge can create gourmet meals.

United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area is holding a Youth Cooking Challenge as part of their health initiative with a focus on childhood health and wellness, including obesity prevention. The young chefs (none of them are older than 12) will be paired with a local chef and filmed preparing a signature dish. Online voting will determine two finalists, who will then have a "cook off" to determine a winner.

The six youth chefs are: Olivia Cofano, 11 years old; Thomas Crofford, 10 years old; Gabriel DiGiorgio, 11 years old; Jonathan Kornmeyer, 11 years old; Maya Padmanabhan, 10 years old; and Nitalia Wright, 12 years old.

MAKE SURE TO CAST YOUR VOTE BELOW, now through April 1st!


Olivia and Michael Latreille of Michael’s Fine Food and Spirits:

MAKE SURE TO CAST YOUR VOTE BELOW!


Thomas and Diane DeRollo of Roso’s Café:

MAKE SURE TO CAST YOUR VOTE BELOW!


Gabriel and Chance Bear of Lincklaen House:

MAKE SURE TO CAST YOUR VOTE BELOW!


Jonathan and Victor Ramirez of Madison Bistro:

MAKE SURE TO CAST YOUR VOTE BELOW!


Maya and Carl Mierek of The Local Farm To Table Catering:

MAKE SURE TO CAST YOUR VOTE BELOW!


Nitalia and Melinda Thomas of Baggs Square Café:

MAKE SURE TO CAST YOUR VOTE BELOW!


The "Cook Off" is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10, and will be held at Restaurant Equipment Corp's brand new test kitchen located in the New Hartford Shopping Center, New Hartford.


CAST YOUR VOTE HERE!