The Harrison City Market recently played host to a very special young celebrity. Beaverton’s 9-year-old Sayde Woodruff was invited by family friend and Mid Michigan College employee Scott Govitz to participate in a team-building exercise with the college’s Workforce and Economic Development team. Woodruff recently appeared on an episode of “Chopped Junior” – a popular Food Network television show – and made it to the final round before being “chopped” by the judges in the final round. Woodruff was right at home at the City Market’s commercial kitchen as she directed the Mid team in preparing a Parisian Chicken dish served over egg noodles with green beans almondine. She then delighted all when serving her pre-made dessert of Oreo Mousse garnished with fresh mint picked from her very own garden.
Woodruff was accompanied by her mother, Beaverton educator Breanne Woodruff, who told the group that Sayde had been bugging her to try out for the show since she was just 6 years old. As Sayde got older and learned how to navigate the internet on her own, she discovered the online application and asked for permission to apply for the show. Her parents gave her the go ahead, and after she filled out all the online applications, she received a call requesting an opportunity to interview her as a potential contestant. After numerous Skype-style interviews with producers, Sadye was chosen to appear on the show and received an all-expense paid trip to New York City for the taping.
Sayde wowed the judges with her big personality and creativity. In the first round, Sadye had to prepare an appetizer, which included a surprise ingredient – alligator. She did a great job, making alligator shish kebabs, and progressed to the next round. She was much more familiar with the main ingredient chosen for the entrée – steak. As a farm girl, Sayde was confident that she could cook an awesome meal with the meat provided, and she was right. Finally, it was down to Sayde and one other contestant as they entered the dessert round. Sadye made a tart dish out of the berries that were provided but, unfortunately, she was not the winner.
In her recent appearance at the Harrison Market, Sadye answered several questions from the Mid employees about her appearance and love for cooking while directing the team in their preparation of lunch. When asked what her classmates say about her rise in the cooking world and being on a television show, she said they say, “Dang, Sadie.”