Freshman Michael George, Chef on Chopped Junior, Happy at NDA

Freshman Michael George, Chef on Chopped Junior, Happy at NDA

Riley Guyette, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Michael George, a freshman at NDA who only recently moved to the city of Green Bay, has been positively impacted by the internet in more ways than one.

George was born in the Centennial Hospital in Frisco, Texas, and lived about 3 minutes away from it for the first 13 and a half years of his life.

He spent most of his free time during these years either at home playing video games, at his grandma’s house, or with various other ever-changing hobbies.

At a young age, he was introduced to the internet, and this is where he spent most of his time during his childhood.

The internet is also where he learned the vast majority of knowledge about cooking—another hobby of his. 

“I’ve always loved going around town to try new foods,” George explained. “I can remember times when I made my parents drive across the city just to try a new restaurant I had never tried before.”

At the age of 12 George’s love of cooking and clever use of the internet landed him on the show Chopped Junior, a cooking show originally aired on the Food Network that sees young children competing to present the best dish they can to judges with the limited ingredients they are supplied. 

“I had applied when I was nine by impersonating my mom online, and they called us three years later wondering if we were still interested,” said the young cook. “I had completely forgotten about sending the application, so I had to finish the entire application process a bit impromptu.” 

After talking to the casters, producers and chefs on the show, he realized that he was a good fit for the show.

“Once I was finally selected for the show, I was flown to New York City for the competition,” he explained. “It was a four-day process, one day to tour the set, one day to film the intros, and two days to film the competition.”

He was eliminated from the competition after the first round. 

“I was super stressed in the moments, and just wanted everything on the plate as fast as possible, and didn’t put enough thought into how I presented my food,” he said. “I have learned a lot since then and only hope to get better.” 

George’s recent transition to Green Bay has been made easy because of the internet. 

“No matter where you are the internet is still the same, so there was always a sense of home,” he explained. “I connect with my friends that I had to leave back home by talking to them over the internet.” 

The freshman is very satisfied with his decision to attend NDA.

“Coming to Notre Dame has been one of the craziest experiences of my life,” he exclaimed. “Everyone here has been so friendly, and I’ve never had so many friends. I’ve never been happier.”