North Eugene High cooking students up for spots on teen 'Chopped'

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      EUGENE, Ore. - Three students from North Eugene High School got callbacks for the teen version of Food Network's cooking show "Chopped.

      "I actually screamed, and my mom was kind of scared," sophomore Saori Fuji said. "I explained to her what had happened."

      Fuji and classmates Hunter Briggs and Sophie Mottweiler are awaiting the call on whether they get to fly to New York City to compete.

      She said she already feels like a winner.

      "Even if I don't make it on the show, it gives me a realization that I can do anything I want as long as I keep challenging myself," Fuji said.

      Students in the cooking class can receive college credit, help cater events and earn a varsity "letter" like student athletes.

      Mottweiler said the class and teacher Miho Hasaka have helped her appreciate different cultures through cooking.

      "I fell in love with Miho and the program and the catering and the cooking in general," she said, "and I really learned the meaning of cooking last year."

      The students said the lessons they learn ins the kitchen are lessons they can apply outside of it.

      "We've learned how to cook affordable food for like college kids, which will be happening soon," said Briggs, a senior.