Aspiring Young Chefs to Compete in First-Ever Garlic Chef Jr. Contest

2018 Gilroy Garlic Festival
July 27, 28 and 29, 2018



Aspiring Young Chefs to Compete in First-Ever Garlic Chef Jr. Contest

June 28, 2018 (Gilroy, CA): The contestants in the Gilroy Garlic Festival’s newest cooking competition weren’t even born when the very first Festival was held back in 1979. But as part of the 40th annual celebration, the eight young chefs ranging in age from 6 to 15 will be competing in the first-ever Garlic Chef Jr. contest on Friday, July 27.

Hosted by MasterChef Season 7 Winner Shaun O'Neale, this exciting new event will start at 2:00 pm on the Challenge Butter Cook-Off Stage. Each contestant must create one baked or grilled dish containing at least six cloves of garlic. A panel of expert judges will evaluate each dish for taste, appearance, creativity, and use of garlic. The winner will receive a notebook computer valued at $500.

The 2018 Garlic Chef Jr. contestants are:

Hayley Alger (age 14) has lived in Gilroy her whole life and has always loved cooking. She attends Gilroy High School, where she is on the JV cheer squad. She also studies ballet and lyrical dance at Lauri Gray School of Dance. Hayley will be making Garlic Waffles.
Dominic Bozzo (age 10) is from Gilroy and loves cooking, sports, video games, and playing with his cat and dog. He has been to every Garlic Festival since he was born. He will be preparing a Chicken and Waffle Sandwich with Spicy Cajun Garlic Aioli.
Addyson Dell (age 6) has lived in Gilroy for four years and enjoys attending the Gilroy Garlic Festival with her family. When she’s not baking or cooking, she loves to swim, dance, ride her scooter, and play with friends and little brother Calvin. Addy looks up to Chef Giada De Laurentiis and hopes she can be as great as her one day. Addy will be making Garlic Mac N Cheese with Crispy Garlic Chicken Tenders and Roasted Asparagus.
Lucy Fassl (age 11) loves cooking, soccer, science, music, art, and comedy. She also likes to help people and bring people together when she can. Lucy has participated in three cooking competitions that were put on by her school district and hopes one day to participate in Chopped Junior or MasterChef Junior. She will be preparing Roasted Garlic Lemon Herb Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus.
Kaiden Lucas Gonzales (age 11) has already won a school district cooking contest with his recipe for Korean Bulgogi Tacos, which he hopes will win over the Garlic Chef Jr. judges as well. Kaiden also enjoys playing soccer, flag football, and basketball; drawing and sculpting; and volunteering at Gilroy Presbyterian Church, his school, and in the community.
Frances Harney (age 10) started cooking as soon as she could reach the counter and loves making fresh pasta with her dad every Christmas Eve. She also loves to bake and has moved from her first Easy-Bake Oven (which she got at age 4) to using a KitchenAid mixer and double ovens today. Frances also loves riding her bike, playing with friends, and competing in softball and basketball. She will be preparing Nona’s Pesto Gnocchi.
Gannon Janisch (age 15) started baking and selling pies, cakes, cupcakes and cookies at age 11 to raise money for his 8th grade trip to Washington, DC. He even sold garlic sugar cookies at the entrance to the Festival! He enjoys cooking with his dad, Garlic Festival Pyro Chef Rich Janisch, and also has a passion for singing, dancing, and entertaining. His dream is to become a Garlic Festival Pyro Chef and cook in Gilroy’s Sister City, Takko Machi Japan, with his dad and uncle Steve. He will be cooking Garlic Chaka Chicken with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
Sara Wang (age 8) just completed second grade, loves reading Harry Potter books, and enjoys whipping up her own after-school snacks, from quesadillas to Korean sushi. She is tremendously excited to be part of the inaugural Garlic Chef Jr. cooking competition and believes everything, from garlic bread to pasta to meat marinades, tastes better with garlic! Sarah will be making Pappardelle with Tomatoes, Italian Sausage and Parmesan.



About the Gilroy Garlic Festival
The Gilroy Garlic Festival will be celebrating 40 years of family fun on July 27, 28, and 29, 2018, at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, California. The Gilroy Garlic Festival has been officially certified by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® as the world’s largest garlic festival and draws over 100,000 guests from around the world. Presented by Raley’s, Bel Air, and Nob Hill Foods, this three-day celebration features gourmet garlicky food, live entertainment, cooking competitions, and fun for the whole family. For more information, go to


Media Contact: Katherine Filice
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