Vashon High Schooler named ‘best teen chef’

Senior Brandon Stinocher won a cooking contest at The Art Institute of Seattle. - Natalie Johnson/Staff Photo
Senior Brandon Stinocher won a cooking contest at The Art Institute of Seattle.
— image credit: Natalie Johnson/Staff Photo

A Vashon High School senior saw his years of cooking practice pay off last month, when he was declared the best teen chef in Washington.

Brandon Stinocher, a Port Orchard resident who commutes to VHS, won The Art Institute of Seattle’s Best Teen Chef Competition on Saturday, April 30, beating out seven other high schoolers who made it to the final round of the competition by demonstrating knife skills and preparing what judges thought were the best appetizer and entrée.

In addition to winning the title of best teen chef, Stinocher was awarded a $5,000 scholarship for culinary school.

“I was really shocked,” Stinocher said of his win.

Stinocher became interested in cooking when he was young, inspired by his father and grandmother.

“All the stuff they made was really good, so I decided I should try it myself,” he said.

Since then, he has taken cooking classes at VHS, learned from a private coach in Kent and worked alongside Tom French, the chef behind the school district’s new Experience Food Project, to prepare the monthly Community Dinners.

Stinocher plans to attend culinary school at the Art Institute after graduation next month. He said he  hopes to one day be a private chef.

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