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12-year-old Marion boy is Food Network star

  • Twelve-year-old Josh Loyd of Marion, who placed first in the Food Network Kids' BBQ Championship, grills dinner for his family. Loyd took home a cash prize of $10,000 and plans to invest his earnings.

    Twelve-year-old Josh Loyd of Marion, who placed first in the Food Network Kids' BBQ Championship, grills dinner for his family. Loyd took home a cash prize of $10,000 and plans to invest his earnings.
    KRISTIN MOORE PHOTO

 
 
updated: 6/20/2017 10:59 AM

It's already been an amazing summer for one Marion youth.

Josh Loyd, a 12-year-old sixth-grader, placed first last week in the Kids' BBQ Championship television show aired on the Food Network.

For his efforts, Loyd was given a $10,000 cash prize. The money was immediately deposited into a trust fund for him by his parents -- Anthony and DeShona.

"It's pretty cool that everyone who knows me now knows I won the contest,' Loyd said. "It was fun to see their reactions when we had a watch party at Mackie's Pizza. It was hard not to be able to say anything about what happened. Everyone was asking me and I said they would have to wait and see the show."

Loyd said it was "challenging" to prepare multiple meals within a time limit and to do so in a way that would appeal to the judges.

"I was just hoping I did a good enough job. I was confident in my work, but still surprised that I won."

Loyd beat out two young ladies for the title of kids' champ. One of the girls -- Ava -- is from nearby Belleville, while the other -- Gabi -- is from Massachusetts.

"We still text each other quite a bit," Loyd said. "I consider them friends."

Loyd said his favorite meal to prepare is filet mignon with baked potatoes and green beans. He will continue to help out with meals, he said, but his parents handle most of the cooking in the household.

"My dad is thinking about getting a food truck and selling meals," Loyd said. "I think that would be a lot of fun. It's still in the talking stages right now."

Loyd said he didn't know if he would be invited back for any additional appearances on the Food Network.

"I would like that. I guess we'll just have to wait and see."

DeShona Loyd said she's just glad her son got the opportunity of a lifetime to showcase his skills.

"It really worked out great for him. I know he couldn't be happier."