September 21, 2016
She's only 12, but Tavia Isaac already has quite the impressive resume.
On Tuesday night, Isaac, of Chester, was declared the winner of the Food Network's episode of "Chopped Junior" called "A Hot Minute" that earned her a cool $10,000 that she said she'll use to help out her hometown's homeless population.
The show, a spinoff of the network's hit, "Chopped," has young chefs between the ages of 9 and 15 make a dish from items that aren't revealed until they're on set. Isaac prepared a brown butter roasted cornish hen with sauteed vegetables that judge and former Red Sox player Jason Varitek said "was phenomenal" on the show.
Chefs Amanda Freitag and Kristen Kish served as the show's two other judges.
Isaac was very open about her struggle with a disease that's caused her to make some adjustments to her diet throughout the years.
"When I was 8, I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, so I learned how to cook healthy things and I put my own twist on it," she said on the show.
Crystal Isaac, Tavia's mother, said though the family's known about the results since April, they had to keep the win a secret until Tuesday night's airing of the episode when they had a watch party.
Since then, her family's received an outcry of support from friends, family and the City of Chester.
"It was amazing," she said. "We were reliving it all over again. When we knew [Tavia] won, we knew it would be a big to-do."
Crystal Isaac said the entire experience feels "like a dream."