Guy Fieri Hosts 4-H Cook-Off, Carnival Donates $20,000 At Texas State Fair

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri coaches Dallas County 4-H member and cooking contest winner Harper Burt at the State Fair

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri coaches Dallas County 4-H member and cooking contest winner Harper Burt at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, where Carnival Cruise Line donated $20,000 to Texas 4-H. (Texas A&M AgriLife/Gabe Saldana)

By Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M University AgriLife

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri joined Carnival Cruise Line at the State Fair of Texas to host a cooking contest among three Texas 4-H students from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

A $20,000 donation from the cruise company to Texas 4-H – part of the event proceedings – will help fund youth food and nutrition programming, said Dr. Courtney Dodd, Texas 4-H program leader in College Station.

“This was a great opportunity for some of our North Texas 4-Her’s, their families and the region to come together for a great cause,” Dodd said.

4-H youth cooking competitors Sam Penn from Collin County and Charlotte Murray from Denton County took the stage alongside Dallas County’s Harper Burt, whose Nutty Flying Pig in Paradise sandwich claimed the cooking contest’s top prize.

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“I was really nervous about competing because I didn’t know what it would be like working with a celebrity like Guy, but it was a really great experience,” Burt said.

First place laurels for her shredded grilled chicken and bacon sandwich with pecan waffle buns included Carnival cruise tickets for Burt, her family and a friend.

Dodd, on behalf of Texas 4-H, extended “sincere thanks to Carnival for their donations and to Guy Fieri for the opportunity to highlight how we work to spur healthy habits like cooking for our youth across the state.”

At the event, Fieri also stressed the importance of learning to cook at a young age, jokingly pointing out his own biggest childhood concerns, “worrying about how to get more time at recess or playtime outside.

“Today we have kids worrying about obesity, worrying about diabetes. That’s not the way this is supposed to be working,” he said. “One of the most important things we can do is teach our kids to cook.”

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This story originally appeared in AgriLife Today.


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