Girl at the grill in small Utah town is ‘Best Young Chef in America’

Posted at 10:09 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 11:44:59-04

WELLINGTON, Utah -- Lyn Wells is the "Best Young Chef in America", according to the world's oldest and largest food and wine association, The Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

To earn the honor, she rose above regional winners from across the country in a competition held in Florida this summer.

It wasn't Wells' first cooking competition. She's taken top honors elsewhere. A win in Beverly Hills last year earned her a summer position at the esteemed French Laundry Restaurant in Napa Valley, where dinner for four typically exceeds a thousand dollars.

But these days, or at least on weekends, Wells can be found in the kitchen of the Cowboy Club in Wellington, Utah.

With its antler chandeliers and video games bolted to the bar, it may seem a long way from Napa Valley, but it's home for Wells and she's making her mark.

"We do things farm to table. We own a farm, we grow our own potatoes, grow our own sheep, raise cattle," Wells told Fox 13 while prepping for a recent "Saturday Special".

She has help at the Cowboy Club.

"My big brother, Ty, he went to culinary school before I did," she says with a smile.

Aside from growing up in and around the family restaurant, Lyn and Ty have both improved their culinary skills through education.

Their father, Glen Wells, tells Fox 13 News it was a "Pro Start" class at Carbon High School that really fueled his children's interest in the business.

Both Lyn and Ty studied culinary arts at Utah Valley University, and Lyn will begin pursuing a Master's Degree there this fall.

"Eventually I want to open my own place, but I just want to learn from as many people as I can right now," Lyn said.

For now, residents of Carbon County, and those from beyond who are willing to travel, can experience Lyn's "Saturday Night Specials" at the Cowboy Club. The menu changes each week, and groups are encouraged to call ahead.