Jackson’s own Chopped Jr. champ takes on local chef

JACKSON, WY— Reigning Chopped Junior Grand Champion is Jackson’s very own Buck Milligan—and it looks like he’s itching for another chance at glory.

This Saturday, September 22, Milligan will face off against Jesse Rezin, Executive Chef of The Kitchen, in his very own “Beat Buck Milligan” cook-off.

The excitement is part of this summer’s last Jackson Hole Farmers Market, in partnership with Fine Dining and New West Knifeworks. Chefs will select two teammates and shop for ingredients from the season’s freshest offerings at the Farmer’s Market. They’ll also have to work with secret ingredients assigned by the event’s judges, Jackson’s top foodies Annie Fenn, Cara Rank, Mike Reid and a surprise guest judge.

See Jackson’s own cooking prodigy at his finest! Miligan and Rezin will go head to head at the Jackson Hole Farmers Market on the Town Square at 9 a.m.

Meet the Contenders 
Buck Milligan, though young, has culinary stripes to show. He became a Chopped Junior Champion at age 11 and returned in June of 2017 to become the first ever Chopped Junior Grand Champion. Born and raised in Jackson, WY, Buck says his interest in food started at around 6 or 7 while helping his dad, New West KnifeWorks Founder, Corey Milligan, hunt, gather and cook delicious dishes for the family. When Buck was invited to participate in the Chopped Junior Tournament of Champions, he trained at the Rendezvous Bistro under Jesse Rezin who was Executive Chef there at that time. Buck is backed up in the competition by the New West Knifeworks All-stars; a dream team of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Executive Chef Michael Britton and “the Ringer” his Uncle and Chef to the Stars Chris Kidder from LA. Upon finding out who his competition would be, Buck took a pre-match page out of Darth Vader’s book and stated: “When last we met, I was but the learner. Now I am the Master.”

Jesse Rezin has deep roots in the Jackson community and has been a member of the Fine Dining family since 2004 when he moved to Jackson Hole as a sponsored snowboarder. Finding his strength, intensity and passion for great food well matched for a career in the culinary arts, he earned his culinary degree and worked his way up the ranks within the popular Fine Dining Restaurant Group. In 2018 Jesse took the helm as Executive Chef of The Kitchen, where his zeal for Asian cuisine and his mindful approach to culinary presentation is communicated in each dish he creates. Chef Jesse’s team will be rounded out by two more of the Fine Dining Restaurant Group’s culinary lineup. When asked for a pre-match statement, he leaned on Muhammad Ali, one of our boxing greats, to say: “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”

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