By Alyssa Schnugg
Oxford resident Holly Jubera has been her family’s favorite cook for years.
Now, she may just become the world’s Favorite Chef.
Jubera is one of 992 people competing in the quarter-finals of the Favorite Chef online competition for $50,000 in cash and a two-page spread in Bon Appétit magazine.
Jubera entered the online contest about a month ago at the urging of her friend and has already beaten out about 90,000 other cooks to make it to the quarter-finals.
The contest has two ways for people to vote for their favorite chef. There is the Free Daily vote where people can enter by using their Facebook account, and the Hero Vote, where people can pay for votes by donating to Feeding America. Each vote equals $1.
For more than 40 years, Feeding America has provided nourishing food to people who are facing food insecurity while actively working to end the cycle of poverty and hunger.
Click here to vote for Holly Jubera.
The semifinal round starts next week, comprised of the No. 1 person from each of the remaining 64 groups. Then those will get paired down to the final four contestants in the final round.
Jubera and her husband, Steve, have been competing in live fire competitions for the last few years, primarily through the Steak Cookoff Association.
“I found I had a knack for creating unique one-serving entries for ancillary contests,” she said.
Jubera’s only training in the kitchen comes from years of working in a Chinese restaurant in Springfield, Missouri before the Jubera’s moved to Oxford.
“It was there a perfected one of my all-time favorite meals to this day – cashew chicken,” Jubera said. “All of my training has been from working at that restaurant, cooking with barbecue pitmasters at competitions and practicing at home.”
Jubera started a YouTube channel that she hopes to expand if she wins the $50,000.
“Winning this would help me take my love of cooking to the next level,” she said. “I would love to ramp up my YouTube cooking channel and show others that they can cook too.”
Jubera said her videos are often about how to keep things simple in the kitchen and use what’s already in there.
“I’d love to travel to other countries and have chefs teach me how to cook in their style,” she said. “But the first thing would be to help my mother out. She’s been a huge supporter of me through the years.”