Waukee Second Grader is a Finalist in National Cooking Contest

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WAUKEE, Iowa — A local chef is a finalist for a national cooking competition, but he’s not exactly who you’d expect. He’s a second grader from Waukee named Teddy Craig.

With the help of his dad, he came up with a recipe for the contest that wowed the judges of Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest.

Teddy said he loves food and especially loves cooking with his dad, Jason Craig.

“Because you get to eat it and you get happy if it’s good,” Teddy said. “All that work comes to something.”

Teddy said they love to cook pizza, pasta and soup together.

“It’s great that he loves food and also loves to get involved with the cooking. And it’s just a good way for us to spend time together and it’s a special bond that we have,” Jason Craig said.

Teddy and Jason made it into the top 25 finalists with their Chicken and Fennel Rice Casserole.

If they make it to the top five, Teddy will win $15,000 for himself and $30,000 for his school, Waukee Elementary, for a cafeteria makeover.

“Well for the money I would give it to the Animal Rescue League, and then also redecorate my room and for the rest, my college savings,” Teddy said.

The Craig family are no strangers to giving back, each dish made in their kitchen is made with love.

“Around Christmas time, as a family, we always come up with a recipe to make a big meal for the local homeless shelter. And that’s a fun way for them to get involved and know that they are helping others,” Teddy’s mom Elly Craig said.

You can help them make it to the final five with a vote here. Voting is open until Nov. 11 and results will be announced Dec. 14.