Return to Headlines

West Orange Sixth-Grade Student to Appear on "Chopped Jr." Dec. 10

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Eleven-year-old Edison Middle School student Leo McCormick is set to appear on the Food Network's iconic program "Chopped Jr." on Dec. 10.  
Cooking is nothing new to McCormick, who has been whipping up a variety of tasty dishes for six years. Members of the West Orange community may remember Leo as a finalist in the Chili Cook-Off and Pie Bake-Off at the Farmer's Market this fall. He took Third Place in the Chili Cook-Off for his Vegan Ginger Sweet Chili and First Place for his Apple and Asian Pear Pie with Chocolate and Hazelnut crust, along with his sixteen-year-old brother Nicco.
Other awards include First Place in 2018 for the Essex County Sustainable Gingerbread House Contest, second place in the Essex County Parks Photo Contest in September of 2019, and is a two-year winner of the 4H Fall fair brochure cover art and best in class outdoor gardening categories.  
Leo is also a talented artist, recently launching his own illustration business, "LRM Illustrations," at the West Orange Farmer's Market. Hobbies include gardening, swimming, bass clarinet, and helping in the WOHS Marching Band pit crew. He is passionate about suicide awareness and designs t-shirts and hats to raise money for the cause.
"The support and encouragement he's gotten from his teachers and the school district has been amazing," said Leo's mother Calogera. 
Leo plans include becoming an artist and opening a food truck. Check out his new website at
Tune into the 12/10/19 episode of @FoodNetwork’s #ChoppedJunior at 8:00 pm ET/PT.
Chopped Jr.
Cynthia Cumming
Dec.1, 2019