Kid Reporters

Kids Rule the Kitchen

TIME For Kids catches up with the pint-sized contestants of MasterChef Junior

September 27, 2013
GREG GAYNE—FOX

MasterChef Junior constestant Franco slices up ingredients for a challenge on the culinary competition show, airing Friday nights on Fox.

What do you get when you attempt to make the world’s largest cupcake? A recipe for disaster!

Gordon Ramsey presents the world's smallest cupcake to MasterChef Junior contestants at a press event for the show in Los Angeles, California.
COURTESY COMPTON FAMILY
Gordon Ramsey presents the world's smallest cupcake to MasterChef Junior contestants at a press event for the show in Los Angeles, California.

This week, in Los Angeles, California, chef Gordon Ramsey and the MasterChef Junior contestants revealed what was supposed to be the world’s largest cupcake. Instead, their creativity in the kitchen produced a cupcake the size of a marble.

“All great chefs turn negatives into positives,” said Ramsey to a packed audience. “Today, we turned that negative around to something positive, and created the world’s smallest cupcake.”

What happened to the giant dessert? The 3,000-pound cupcake baked for 35 hours in a 6-foot-wide by 8-foot-deep pan. Unfortunately, the pan began to leak and eventually collapsed. The chefs quickly created what they are calling the world’s smallest cupcake. Guinness World Records, however, will only judge the largest food items and not the smallest.

“It’s cost-effective, it’s healthy and it’s a one-bite-wonder!” said Ramsay of the tiny treat.

Practice Makes Perfect

MasterChef Junior judge Gordon Ramsey and TFK Kid Reporter Amelia Compton
COURTESY COMPTON FAMILY
MasterChef Junior judge Gordon Ramsey and TFK Kid Reporter Amelia Compton

The event was held to promote the new show MasterChef Junior. The culinary competition was designed to open the door for kids interested in cooking professionally. Here’s how it works. Twenty-four aspiring chefs, ages 8 to 13, are selected and put through a series of cooking tests. Contestants are eliminated two at a time until one is finally named Masterchef Junior!

Kid Reporter
Amelia Compton

As the kids complete the challenges and work their way up, three judges mentor them. They are celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey, restaurant owner Joe Bastianich, and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot.

Ramsay is known for being a tough critic. If he doesn’t like something, he’ll let you know. But in MasterChefs Junior he stresses the importance of hard work.

“I think constructive criticism is healthy,” he told TFK. “But my focus with these youngsters was on instilling discipline. Having that structure of discipline can take you a long way in life.”     

The Next Top Chefs?

The young cooks didn’t fear the adult judges.  “Gordon, Joe and Graham were all really supportive and really into what we were doing,” said Tommy from Palos Verdes, California. He is a 12-year-old contestant on the show. The toughest challenge for him was making pasta from scratch.

Other contestants ran into more practical difficulties. Sarah, 9, had trouble getting her food to the judges. “Because I’m so short, I couldn’t reach the window where we place the finished dishes,” she said.      

The aspiring chefs agreed that competing on the show taught them valuable lessons.  “Never give up and follow your dreams,” 12-year-old Dara told TFK.

Don’t miss these creative kids as they cook up some fun on MasterChef Junior. The first episode airs September 27 on Fox Network.


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