MasterChef Jr 06×03


The Culinary ABC’s Episode starts with the top 24 kid chefs running into the MasterChef Kitchen. 11-year-old Evan is so exited to be in the top 24, “I’ve been to Germany, Mexico, Costa Rico, but the MasterChef Kitchen is like its own country. Look at this place, beautiful stations, a pantry, restaurant, equipment room! It’s like Neverland for home cooks.” Fourth grader Beni says she’s the punky Chicago girl who, “would like to inspire kids to cook all kinds of different foods and to be unique, creative, thinking outside the box. And show them that you can become more than you think.”

It’s time for the first Mystery Box Challenge. Under every box they find 26 ingredients, each beginning letter of the alphabet from A to Z. A is for asiago, B is for bacon, C is for chocolate and so on. They have one hour to show the judges that they are the home cook to watch this season.

When time is up the judges look over all the dishes and pick the top 3 for tasting. The first top dish belongs to Remy, a 12-year-old girl from New York, NY. She made Lamb Chops with Roasted Eggplant Purée and Cheese Biscuits. Joes thinks the plate looks amazing. Gordon says the cook on the lamb is spot on and tastes amazing. Both judges think the Cheese Biscuits are an excellent addition to the dish.

The next top dish belongs to Beni, a 9-year girl from Chicago, IL. She made Herb Crusted Steak with Ginger Quinoa, Sautéed Kale and Dill-Yogurt Sauce. Christina says the dish looks like it came out of a hip and young steak house. The steak has a great sear and is juicy and tender and goes great with the sauce. The quinoa is delicious but Gordon wants it to be more exciting. Christina says the kale is a bit hard and needs more flavor. Overall, good job.

And the third top dish belongs to Henry, a 9-year-old boy from Katy, TX. He made Grilled Lamb Chop with Tzatziki, Quinoa and Zucchini. Joe loves the cook on the lamb and the grilled Zucchini. The Tzatziki has a great flavor too.

And the winner of the First Mystery Box Challenge is … REMY! She is safe from the Elimination Challenge and in the top 22.


The other 23 cooks must bake a fruit tart. Christina says it must be a work of art and “the way a fruit tart looks is just as important as the flavor.” The young chefs can choose their own ingredients from the pantry but will have to perfect the ratios of the crust, the cream filling and fruit topping.

During the bake time Zia realizes she forgot the graham cracker for her tart crust. This is a big mistake and she starts to panic, but Gordon comes to help her remake the crust and get it on the oven. Ariana is making a Lemon Raspberry Tart. Evan is making an Italian Fruit Tart with a balsamic vinegar glaze.

When time is up the judges take a closer look at the tarts and decide which cooks did so well they can head straight to the balcony: Ariana, Beni, Olivia, Evan, Anthony, Henry, Sammy, Cade, Mikey, Sophia, Piece, Camson, Emily, Mackenzie, Gracie Grayson, and Maria. The remaining six cooks: Avery, Ben, Quani, Juelz, Lindsay and Zia will bring their tarts forward for tasting and 2 chefs will go home.

Zia made a Berry Tart with Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries and Apricot Glaze. The crust is way too thick and very hard to cut. Up on the balcony, Evan seems very worried about his friend Zia. The fruit is unevenly sliced, but the cream is quite delicious.

Lindsay made a Lime Curd Tart with Strawberries. The crust is nicely thin but not high enough. The cream tastes amazing, but the tart doesn’t look as amazing as it could if the strawberries were cut to show outer skin.

Avery made a Mint Fruit with Blackberries, Oranges, Raspberries and Peaches. Joes says leaving the oranges peels and peach skin on the fruit are mistakes. But the pastry cream is delicious and she nailed the crust.

Quani made Hawaiian Fruit Tart with Strawberries, Kiwi, Blueberries and Mango Pastry Cream. Gordon loves the cream but says the it kiwi and other fruit chunks are too big and the tart crust is too thick.

Juelz made a Vanilla Fruit Tart with Strawberries, Pineapple and Kiwi. Sadly, the pineapple does not go well with the tart because it is too fibrous and the crust and cream is not even. The knife cuts could have been cleaner, but considering he had never eaten or made a fruit tart before, I think he did pretty well with the dessert.

And Ben made a White Chocolate Fruit Tart with Raspberries, Blackberries and Blueberries. It looks very messy and needs more pastry cream, but Joe likes the berry flavor and white chocolate. The dessert needs more finesse.

Avery and Lindsay are safe, and the last 2 who are safe are…. Ben and Quani.

Unfortunately, that means 9 year old Zia from Pasadena, CA and 8 year old Juelz St. Louis, MO are going home. Zia starts to cry but Christina offers a warm hug.

When the 2 kids are walking out all the kids are cheering for them. Juelz says, “ Looks like I’m going to be headed back to St Louis, but I beat out bazillions of kids who wanted to be here and that’s an accomplishment. I know my family’s going to be proud of me.” Zia says, “Even though I didn’t get the MasterChef Junior trophy, I still had the honor being here. Whether I’m 9 years old or I’m 43 years old, I was one of the top 24 junior home cooks in America. That is a big deal.

MasterChef Junior Recap S6 X 1&2


In the sixth season opener the 40 most talented young home cooks, ages 8 to 13, in the United States learn the judges will be Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi. And that Joe Bastianich is back! 9 year old Beni says, “Oh my gosh it’s Joe! I know he’s Italian, he’s a restauranteur, he knows food better than anyone else. And he’s bald.” The kids will be competing to win title of MasterChef Junior Champion and $100,000. To get started 20 girls and 20 boys will compete in 2 groups for 12 aprons each.

Episode 1 “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!”

The girls are up first. Their first culinary challenge is to cook a perfect medium rare Filet Mignon with a side dish in 25 minutes. Gordon demonstrates the technique – season steak with salt and pepper, hot iron cast pan with grapeseed oil, a couple cloves of garlic, a little rosemary, until you get a great sear on it, flip sides, roll on sides, then toss in butter to baste. Let it rest in the pan. Voilà! Perfect pink in the middle and brown on the outside

During the cook time we meet 12 year old Remy and her ten year old sister, Oliva from New York City. Even though it’s a competition they hope they will both win a white apron and make it in the top 24


. When time is up the judges visit each young cook’s station to taste their filets. They call out the first 8 young cooks to get their white aprons: ARIANA, ZIA,SOPHIA, AVERY, EMILY, BENI, GRACIE & REMY.

Then the judges announce that sadly Noelani, Addyson, Aubrey and Nadia will be going home☹. Nine year old Nadia from Chicago, IL says, “I did not get an apron, but it’s so exciting that I made it this far.” Nine year old Addyson from Parker, CO says, “I’ve learned so many amazing things and I can’t wait to show my family what I can do.” Nine year old Aubrey from Miami Beach, FL says “I’m leaving with my head up today because I got to meet Gordon Ramsay, Christian Tosi and Joe!” And eight year old Noelani from Makawao, HI says “I’m feeling sad, but I got to make a lot of friends who I’m going to be pen pals with.”


Now the 8 remaining chefs will compete for the four remaining white aprons by cooking their Signature Dish for the judges. During the cook time Christina and Joe talk with Maria, who says she is Puerto Rican and Greek, so people call her the Puerto Greekan! Meanwhile, Abby ruins her beignet dough and she doesn’t have time to start over. Gordon warns Chloe that her Flan is not fully cooked and puts it back in the oven.


Time is up.

Oliva made a Berry Tart with Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries and Whipped Cream. The crust is great Christina loves the taste, but she thinks there is too much Cream.

Lila made Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Cucumber Tomato Salad. It tastes good Gordon says the meatballs look gray and need more color from the pan.

Mackenzie made Gyoza with Carrot Slaw and Soy Dipping Sauce. This dish is lovely. Christina thinks the dumplings are amazing. She nailed the sauce the dish looks like a pro chef made it.

Laken made Shrimp and Grits with Vegetables and Andouille Sausage. Unfortunately, the dish has problems. Gordon says the grits are too thick, the sauce is broken and he’d want more than one shrimp.

Chloe’s Banana Flan tastes delicious, but it is too loose to be considered a successful flan. Joe turns his thumbs down. ☹

Abby made Beignets with Honey and Strawberry Dipping Sauce. Gordon says the pastry is too thick and fruit is way too sweet.

Lindsay’s Rosemary Lamb Chops with Tzatziki and Cheese Stuffed Eggplant are cooked well. Christina says lamb is beautiful but the eggplant needs seasoning.

And lastly, Maria made Lamb Chops with Mofongo and Tzatziki. She nailed the cook on the lamb its tastes great but she put too much mofongo which threw off proportions on the plate.

In the end the remaining four white 4 Aprons go to MACKENZIE, LINSAY, OLIVA and MARIA!

Sadly that means Laken, Lila, Abby and Chloe are going home. Nine year old Laken from River Ridge, LA says, “Even though I didn’t get a white apron, it was just really fun cooking in the MasterChef Kitchen. It is definitely going to be an experience, that I’ll like never, ever in the whole wide world, my whole life, I’m never gonna forget.” Nine year old Chloe from San Antonio, Texas says, “I’m bummed that I’m leaving, but I think I did my family members in Mexico proud and the thing I’m most excited to do when I get back to San Antonio, is to cook more.” Eight year old Lil from Hoboken, NJ says, “Even though I’m going home, I’ve learned so much and I made a lot of new friends. I had so much in here in the MasterChef Kitchen.” And nine year old Abby from Mandeville, FL says, “I’m feeling really good because I’m still one of the top junior cooks in all of America! And I got to cook for Gordon Ramsay. I’ll never forget that.”

Episode 2 “The Boys Are Back In Town!”

Now it’s the boys’ turn. Their first cooking challenge is to cook a stunning breast of chicken and side dish in 25 minutes. Again, Gordon teaches how it is done. Gas on to heat up the cast iron pan nice and hot (No color, no flavor!), season the chicken with pepper and salt, a tablespoon of oil in first, lay chicken away and add lightly crush garlic, fresh rosemary and thyme and butter to baste. Turn every two minutes, take it out. Voilà! Slice through crispy brown skin to find beautifully moist meat on the inside.


During the cooking time eleven year old Felix from Santa Barbara, CA accidently sets his napkin on fire but Gordon helps him put it out. “You did the right thing by stepping back, well done.”

When time is up the judges visit each young cook’s station to taste their chicken breasts. They announce the first 8 young cooks to get their white aprons: SAMMY, JUELZ, GRAYSON, CAMSON, HENRY, CADE, MIKEY, & PIERCE!

Sadly, Felix, Kolby, Elliot and Jadon are going home. Kolby and Felix served undercooked chicken, Elliot burned the chicken skin and Jadon’s carrots were not cooked. When they are walking out Evan gives Elliot a high five since he knows being 13, this was Elliot’s last chance to be on MasterChef Junior. he is sad since he is 13 and it was his last chance. Felix says, “I didn’t get a white apron, but I feel good about myself that I got this far.” Eight year old Kolby from New Orleans, LA says, “I just cooked for some of the best chefs in the world. It was so much fun to have an experience like that.” 13 year old Elliot from Westlake Village, CA says, “Leaving the MasterChef Kitchen is disappointing for sure, but I’m definitely going to keep cooking.” And 12 year old Jadon from Arcadia, CA says, “My food dream is to become an International Food Writer. I’m going to make that dream come true,”

Just like with the girls, the remaining 8 boys will cook their Signature Dish to compete for the last four white aprons. During the cook time Drew seems to be putting way too much spice is his burger, he tells Christina there is no such thing as too much spice and says, “Okay.” Gordon is shocked that Quani is making cupcakes, “No, no, no, no, no, no. Cupcakes? Quani stop it. I just told Joe and Christina no boy’s going to be making cupcakes. 😮  And Joe asks Evan if he is a Bookie because of his cool shirt. What?

Time is Up.

Quani made Cupcakes with Chocolate Swirls and Strawberries. He says he has his own baking business and he sells homemade treats at soccer games. Christina says the cupcakes are beautifully baked well, to sponge tastes great and the frosting is nice and light. But she’s not a fan of the blue color.

Anthony made Chicken Cutlet Hoagie with Broccolini. Gordon questions whether a simple sandwich is enough to win an apron. Joe defends Anthony’s choice, “It’s not just a sandwich. This is part of our communal cultural heritage as New Yorkers.” Gordon loves the amazing taste. He says all the layers work well together and it is a gourmet sandwich.


Drew made an Arab Fusion Burger with Pita Chips. He put 10 spices into the beef and lamb. Joe likes the Middle Eastern flavors in the burger, “But your hand on spices is very, very aggressive. This is aggressively seasoned for me.”

Tyler made Chicken Nuggets with Glazed Carrots. Gordon has to lean down to talk with Tyler because he is so small, but incredibly confident. The carrots roasted beautiful, but unfortunately the chicken is a bit too dry. Gordon says it was a strong effort but maybe a sauce would have been a good idea for the dish.

Chuk made Nigerian Shrimp Stew with Chimichurri Sauce. Christina likes the bold flavor in the stew but the it’s a little heavy handed on the salt. The shrimp are cooked well but the chimichurri sauce needed more oil to thin it out.

Luca’s Spicy Tomato Pasta with Garlic Bread is a little overcooked. Although the sauce is pretty good, Joe is disappointed it is not mixed in well with the pasta.

Ben made Peach Cobbler with Whipped Cream and Caramel Sauce. Ben says he likes to bake a lot because he likes math and science. Christina says the caramel sauce pairs well with the peach sauce without overwhelming it, but the over whipped cream is a bit over whipped. When Ben goes back to his station Evan gives him a high-five.

And Evan made Banana Foster Crêpes with Dulce De Leche Stuffed Bananas. This elevated banana dessert was inspired by his Cota Rican roots. And although Gordon is doubtful bananas can be stuffed, he is pleasantly surprised and says they taste quite delicious. The crêpes could use more color but the filling is amazing.

The last 4 white MasterChef Aprons go to ANTHONY, QUANI, EVAN and …. BEN!

That means Drew, Luca, Chuk and Tyler are going home today, but can try again next year. 10 year old Drew from Baton Rouge, LA says, “Yeah, it’s sad I’m leaving here today, but the people I met, I’m never going to forget. I got to cook in front of Gordon Ramsay. Now, I get to go back to Louisiana and go see my other friends.” 😊11 year old Luca from Chicago, IL says, “I’m kind of sad, but I’m not 13 so I’m going to train a bit harder for next year.” 10 year old Chuck from Los Angeles, Ca says, “I’m a little disappointed not to get an apron, but I was able to make my own signature dish in the MasterChef Kitchen. Like, that’s just an honor itself.” And irrepressible 8 year old Tyler from Milford, DE says, “I may not have got my MasterChef Apron but. at least I’m still a Super Hero!” 😊




Max’s Favorite Kid Cooks!

MasterChef Junior Season 1

Alexander: I liked him from the start. I could tell he was a very kind kid and I loved how he always helped his friends when they needed it. When he helped Dara calm down during the finale he showed maturity and class. He’s really grown up since the show and I’m happy to see that he is still cooking up a storm. I hope I get to try one of his famous meals one day.


Kaylen: It was exciting to see Kaylen in the MasterChef Junior Best Moments Show and to learn she is still cooking. I always wished she had gone further in the competition. I’ll never forget how she supported Alexander in the cake challenge, even though he was her biggest competitor. It showed she really cares about her friends.


Gavin: It was great to see Gavin make it to the top six of his season. I came to appreciate his friendliness when I saw behind the scenes photos of him hanging out with his competitors between shows. He always looked happy and like he was having a good time with his friends.


Dara: Another really good kid cook. I liked her super positive attitude during Season 1. When Alexander won in the finale she hugged him and told him he did a good job. It was nice to see her being genuinely happy for him at the end of such an intense competition. It was surprising to me that is now old enough to have her driver’s license.


MasterChef Junior Season 2

Logan: It took me a little while to warm up to Logan, but as the season went on I began to really appreciate him. His relationships with the other kids were so sweet, it showed that in addition to winning he really wanted to make friends. I loved that despite his fierce rivalry with Samuel, he made sure to be kind at the end. Logan also supported me when I was sick. He sent me a signed Chef Hat that I will treasure forever and let me know that a character in his new manga cookbook had my name. I admire Logan’s accomplishments very much and enjoy following him on social media.


Jessica: Even though she did not make it that far in the competition she was one of my favorites. I remember one time another young cook was crying and Jessica got up to hug and comfort her friend. I was excited to see that after the season ended she got to appear at an event with Logan and Graham Elliot. I know she is still cooking, so if they have a MasterChef Junior All Star Season I hope she gets to come back and compete again.


Josh: When I watched the season again to write my recaps I found that I really liked Josh. He was always checking up on the other kids when they were sad. It’s great to see that Josh is finding opportunities to cook alongside professional chefs in New York.


Levi: My original fav in MasterChef Junior Season 2! I liked how nice he was to the other kids. When Sam had to restart his dish, Levi encouraged him and told him he could do it. I was so sad when Levi got cut since he was my favorite and it meant I wouldn’t get to see him on the show anymore. Now he has his own cupcake business and I hope I get to try one someday.


Adaiah: She was a great cook (top four) and a great friend to others on the show. I liked how Adaiah always had positive things to say about the other kids’ cooking. And she was one of the first to offer goodbye hugs at the end of the show each week. I follow Adaiah on Instagram and am interested when she posts new dishes.


MasterChef Junior Season 3

Nathan: I loved seeing him all grown up on the MasterChef Junior Best Moments Show. I knew he was going to be my fav at the start of Season 3. He seemed like a thoughtful boy and he only had good things to say about the other kids. Nathan was often visibly sad when his friends left the show. I was so happy for him when he won. He really earned it and he is still a great cook. The pictures of cakes he posts on Instagram are amazing! Also, I was touched when Nathan sent me a get well message when I was sick and said he hoped I would get better soon. His support helped me a lot.


Kayla: She always worked hard. I loved how she was sweet and caring to her friends. And even though Jenna yelled and made her cry during the tag team challenge, Kayla remained a loyal friend. I follow her continued cooking exploits on Instagram and was happy to see her little sister compete in a Chopped Jr. episode. Recently, she placed second on Stove Tots. Her cooking talent is still a big inspiration.


Jimmy: Such a polite boy and talented young cook. It’s been fantastic watching him grow up on social media. He is always cooking something new, like the cinnamon bun waffles I just had to try for myself! Jimmy has also been very supportive of my recap blog and reached out with well wishes when I was in the hospital. I know he is going to go far with his cooking. Check him out on his regular visits to The Doctors on local CBS stations.


Cory: I liked Cory’s energy on the show. I could tell he really loved to cook and he always looked like he was having fun. When I watched the season again I liked him even more because I realized he was funny. I’m one of his 31.6 thousand followers on Instagram! And excited that he recently got his business started and ships to Connecticut!


Ryan Kate: This young lady was one of my big favs. She was so positive and encouraging to her friends. I remember when she comforted Jenna and Kayla after the terrible tag team challenge. “You tried your best!” Ryan Kate has also been very supportive of my posts and recaps. And she sent me get well wishes when I needed them most. I hope to see her cooking again in the MasterChef Kitchen if they ever have an All Star Challenge. And I was so proud of her when she won first place in Stove Tots. Amazing person.



MasterChef Junior Season 4

Nate: One of my all-time favorite young cooks. He was super nice to all the kids and glad to make friends. I noticed how he and Jesse became close. I was sad when he left, it was too early. He’d be great in an All Star Season. I continue to follow Nate on social media. Once he gave me a shout out on Instagram, he said I was the best fan ever and called me brother.


Zac: Such an amazing chef! He got along well with all the kids and was never mean. I remember that Zac felt sad when one of his best friends, Sam left the show. I was incredibly sad when Zac was eliminated in the semifinals. I believed he could win the whole thing. Zac was kind enough to send me a signed Master Jr tee shirt when I was feeling poorly. It hangs on my wall and makes me smile every day. He finally got his win on Stove Tots, a moment I had been literally waiting to see for forever. Zac is still cooking and very active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


JJ: I really like JJ because he was one of the nicest kids in Season 4. He was all heart and always gave big hugs to the other kids. It was so sad when he left the show. I think he deserved better. JJ surprised me with a great video message when I was sick. I loved it. Like he said, I really am one of his biggest fans! I believe he is going to go far if he keeps following his passions.


Kaitlyn: She is a very talented young cook and one of my favorites. I remember the time she had to throw the fish and how she had so much fun in the kitchen. She was a kind hearted kid and cheered on her friends even though they were her competition. I thought it was nice that she and Tae Hoe dated for a little while after the show ended, even though they lived far away from each other. ❤


Avery: She was one of the young home cooks I liked even more after the show ended. As I watched the season again for my recaps I realized what a sweet and funny girl she was. Her facial expressions were priceless. And the episode where she and JJ had to make a platter of street food neither of them had ever eaten really highlighted her “can do” attitude. She was team player and passionate cook. I wish Avery all the best!




MasterChef Junior Season 5

Shayne: He was my favorite from the start and turned out to be the nicest kid in the season. Shayne was friendly and kind to everyone. He showed he cared when others were sad with hugs and words of encouragement. As a captain he did a great job leading his team. I love how he reads my blog and calls it art. I was very sad when he left the show since I made a connection with him. Shayne has kept busy cooking at events and working for charities. He stands against bullying! And was amazing in his efforts to help those in need after Hurricane Harvey in Texas. If you check out his Facebook or Instagram you’ll get to meet his new friend Ramsay. 😊


Adam: Also a very nice boy. I love how he always gave hugs to the kids when they left the show and how he was not afraid to show his feelings. It’s been fun to see that he has continued a friendship with Mark after the show. Adam was nice enough to send me an autographed picture. It’s easy to be a fan of Adam.


Jasmine: She was exceptional in many ways on the show. She never gave up, even after being eliminated. She stayed positive and faced each new challenge with a smile. I liked how Jasmine was kind to the other contestants as they said goodbye. And I really loved how she asked Justise to hold the MasterChef Trophy with her in the finale. I follow her on Instagram and Jasmine continues to impress me with her maturity and love for food.


Gonzalo: He stood out as an expressive and big hearted kid on the show. He was always nice to the other young cooks, generous with hugs and compliments. I’ll never forget his first goodbye with Adam. It was amazing to see the kids show their feelings of friendship. Gonzalo is still cooking Peruvian food and it looks as delicious as ever on Instagram. I’d love to see him return for an All Star Season.


Afnan: A world traveler and a great cook, he was humble too. I admired Afnan’s devotion to his family’s roots in Bangladesh. I liked how he was often willing to help the younger kids when they needed help carrying large equipment. And Afnan was first to offer hugs when it was time for goodbyes. I was disappointed when he left at the top 8. So happy to see he’s still cooking on social media.



Other Kids Cooking Shows

Gibson: Racheal vs Guy Kids He was so nice to the other contestants, always caring when they were upset. I loved his story about how cooking helping him deal with bullying at school. His words at the end of the season, that he hoped he could inspire other kids who are bullied, were amazing. Fun Fact – if you watch Gibson’s win without sound, you might think Amber won by the look on her face.


Hunter: Racheal vs Guy Kids Cookoff & Chopped Teens He is the kind the kid who never gives up. After he did not win Racheal vs Guy, he went to compete in Chopped Teens and took home a win. Knowing what it can feel like to lose, he was respectful of his fellow cooks when they got chopped. Hunter is good guy.


Chris: Racheal Ray Kids What an incredibly supportive young man. When the other kids were upset and crying, he would tell them they were amazing. He really cares about feelings. I enjoy seeing his cooking event posts on Facebook and Instagram and would like to try his Awesome Sauce & Liquid Gold! #chriswithatwist I really hope he gets a chance to be on another show. I think he would great on Chopped Teens. He has also been very nice to me and sent me an autographed picture.


Jack: Chopped Junior When the judges were surprised he shared ingredients with the other cooks, he asked why wouldn’t he? Class act. He had such positive energy. I love how he and Mark went out for milkshakes after the show. Even though he didn’t win on the Chopped Junior Champions, he did a great job, and it was fun to see him cooking again.



Alex P: Kids Baking Championship & Chopped Junior He is one of my favorites because he was super kind on the baking show. He made me laugh when he talked about his grandmother. He went home too soon on Chopped Junior, and I bet he would have done really well in the dessert round. I hope he gets to compete on another show because he is such a good baker.


Mason: Chopped Junior & Stove Tots He is one of my big favs because he is such a sweet kid. He was so nice to the other kids on the shows, which shows he isn’t just about winning. I still enjoy seeing him cook online and follow his food blog Mason has also been super nice to me. He sent me a nice package with his cookbook, some candies and his autograph picture. He loves by blog and has even called me his friend. He says I am an amazing person and he wants to meet me in person someday. I am honored to be have him as an online friend. He is my fav Chopped Jr winner, I hope to see him on tv again.


Isaiah: Food Network Star Kids & Chopped Junior He was so nice to everyone and cared about them when they were sad. I think he is a great kid. I was so sad when he did not win Food Network Star Kids because he was really talented and wanted him to win. I like watching his fusion cooking videos on You Tube Account, Cooking With Chef Anthony Check it out!


Christian: Chopped Junior What a nice kid. I especially liked how he talked about wanting to win for his sister who had open heart surgery. I was happy when he won. I hope I get to see Christian compete on another show sometime soon, maybe represent Massachusetts in a MasterChef Junior Season!


Caroline: Chopped Junior & Stove Tots She was such a nice girl. I liked it when she helped Sofia plating in the last seconds of the dessert round. She was being a true friend and a great competitor. When kids do this they show they want their best dish to go against the other kid’s best dish. I liked how Sofia and Caroline held hands to find out who won. And then she won again on Stove Tots, that was amazing.


Aidan F.: Chopped Junior & Chopped Junior Champs Another great kid. I really liked his story. He said school was hard because of his dyslexia, and cooking was a lot more fun. Mark Murphy said he could relate, he has dyslexia too, and that learning to cook was a great path to success for him. I was happy Aidan won. And it was great to see him return for the Champs Show and win his round. His cooking skills are getting better and better and I like following his Instagram posts.


Nick & Natraj: Chopped Junior I loved both of them on the show. Nick talked about writing a cookbook and Natraj talked about how cooking helped him overcome bullying at school. Both really nice boys. I was glad they made it to the dessert round together, and although I was happy for Nick when he won, I wish Natraj could have won too. Double winning would be amazing!

Liam D.: Chopped Junior I was impressed that he wanted to donate winnings to the homeless, so they could get homes. Caring about the people living on the streets shows what a very nice kid he is. I also love how he dyes his hair and can be himself. I follow him on Instagram and he still cooks a lot.


Christopher& Kaj: Chopped Junior I liked these two kids a lot. Christopher was brave to share that he was bullied at school and didn’t have many friends. Cooking helped him feel less lonely. Before they went to the final chopping block Kaj told Christopher that no matter what happens they would always be friends. And when Kaj won he gave Christopher a supportive hug. Two strong kids, I hope they get to be on MasterChef Junior someday, I think they would be really good on the show and make lots of new friends

Aidan: Kids Baking Championship My instincts told me he was going to be my fav on the show right from the start. He was positive and funny and knew a lot about baking. And he was kind. I loved when it ran across the kitchen to Kaniyah and helped her make whipped cream. What a great friend. I follow Aidan on Instagram and am happy to see that in addition to great baking he’s also making savory dishes


Liam P.: Chopped Junior On the show Liam was great cook and nice to the other kids. I liked how he gave Megan a big hug goodbye at the end. It was so sweet it even made Geoffrey Zakarian tear up. I literally jumped for joy when I found him on Instagram! He is still cooking and posts delicious looking Hawaiian dishes.


CJ: Online Chopped Junior Auditions I’m glad I found this video online because I was touched by CJ’s story about how cooking helped distract him from being bulled at school. It’s sad to me think about how many kids are bullied. I’m glad cooking helps them feel better. I really hope CJ keeps trying and gets to be on Top Chef Junior’s second season. He almost made it on to Chopped Junior, so he is a very good cook. I would love to see him shine on T.V.


Kieran: Chopped Junior What I liked best about Kieran is how wanting to win did not make him act rude. When Ava was so sad and tearing up after being chopped in the dessert round, it was great to see him give her a big hug and be a friend. I follow him on Instagram and he is still cooking strong in Pennsylvania.


Fuller: Chopped Junior & Top Chef Junior Fuller is such an amazing kid. He started watching cooking shows in the hospital when he had cancer and decided he wanted to learn how to cook too. Watching him in the kitchen, it’s easy to see how determined he is to succeed. I was so happy he won Chopped Jr. and excited to see him again on Top Chef Jr. It was really sad when he had to leave the competition for medical reasons, but it was the best choice for his health. I follow Fuller on Instagram, he looks great, healthy and strong, and cooking up a storm!


Milo: Top Chef Junior He was my fav. I loved when he made a butter stuffed burger in honor of his best friend, Fuller. He said he wanted to make his friend smile. I was so sad when he left the show, he was so close to winning. I hope you competes on TV again and keeps following his cooking dreams.


Logan G.: Chopped Junior I felt bad for him when he was having trouble with the wonton wrapper and started to doubt himself. I loved that he didn’t give up and kept on cooking. I thought he was a really nice kid and I was happy for him when the won and got a chef’s coat.


Jacob: Kids BBQ Championship, Chopped Junior & Stove Tots If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Jacob had a rocky path. He was always in the bottom on Kids BBQ, came close to winning on Chopped, but then finally won Stove Tots! I was so happy for him. I liked how he never gave up and earned a win. He is an amazing fighter.


Elliot: Chopped Junior & Stove Tots He is a nice boy and I was glad to watch him cook on tv and online. I like his long hair style. I think it shows he is not afraid to be himself. I was happy to see him win Stove Tots in the pilot episode online and on the televised show. I follow him on Facebook and it’s fun to see his dishes and all the special events he gets to cook at.


Bryce: Chopped Junior & Stove Tots He is one of the amazing young cooks who may not have won a show, but never gives up. I admire that, and I hope he gets a win one day. I follow him on Facebook and think it’s great that he cooks at all sorts of events.


Devlyn: Stove Tots I was glad to find this new fav kid chef on Stove Tots. He has a great personality, is proud of his family and seems like the kind of kid I would like to be friends with. He was super sweet when he hugged the other kids after he won. I was SO happy for him, I had joy in my heart.


Aditya: Kids Baking Championship He was my favorite baker in Season 4 and I was Team Aditya from the start! He was sweet, humble and funny and I was so sad when he left. I really hope he keeps baking and I get to see him compete on another show someday. For now, I enjoy following him on Instagram and watching his mini speed baking videos.


Owen: Top Chef Junior I was happy for him when he won Top Chef Jr. and I loved his friendship with Henry. It was so cute to see them hug and fool around when they were cooking as a team in the finale. It’s great to see boys unafraid to show their feelings of friendship.


Ryan: Chopped Canada Junior I liked Ryan. I was impressed when he told Charlie his meatballs were burning. He was such a good sport (unlike the guy in Cake Wars who did not tell the women her oven was open). I think the adults could learn a lot of positive things by watching the kids compete.


Daniel: Chopped Canada Junior & Racheal vs Guy Kids Cookoff I really liked seeing him cook on these shows. Even though he did not win, he was a talented cook and fun to watch. When he posts his latest dishes on Instagram, I am always interested to see he’s been cooking.


Hudson: Chopped Canada Junior I liked his story about being very quiet and not having many friends. Like other kids, cooking helped him find more self-confidence and he is still cooking today. I recently found his account on Instagram, and everything he makes looks amazing.


Trishul: Chopped Junior What a nice boy. I loved how he cooked from his Indian roots and how he dresses and dances to honor of his culture background. He was one of the kids I was so sad to see not win.


Nyles: Chopped Junior I thought he was a very kindhearted boy. I loved how he wanted to win the money for his mom and help her since she was a single mom. I was SO sad he got chopped, I felt he really deserved to win.


Etimfon: Chopped Junior I loved his story about recently coming to the United States from Nigeria. I thought it was very honorable when he told the judges that he felt he should be chopped in the entrée round, because the other cooks had done better. I would love to see Etimfon on a Chopped Jr Redemption Show, and I think the judges would too!


Ade: Chopped Junior He arrived with an amazing story. He had badly injured his leg in a dumbbell accident and needed surgeries, but still wanted to compete on Chopped Junior to inspire other kids to cook. He never gave up his dream. Ade came close to winning in the dessert round, and still acted happy for the boy who won.


Jake: Chopped Teens Even though he was teased for being “weird” or “awkward” when he was younger, he is more confident now. I liked how he is comfortable with himself and his motto is “If you are different, stay humble. Accept who you are.” He’s a very mature seventh grader.


Peter: Chopped Teens He has so many interests, he is a very special boy. I was happy when he won his episode of Chopped Teens and I like following him on YouTube. He has he own cooking show online and sells clothes he has designed and made himself. Maybe he’ll end up on Project Runway Junior someday!


Jeremiah: Chopped Junior He left too soon! I thought he was very funny and I loved how he talked about living and cooking in Hawaii. I was very sad when he left in the appetizer round. He did not get a chance to show what he can do. Jeremiah deserves to come back for redemption. I’m glad he got to cook with professional chefs in Hawaii after the show.


Joe: Chopped Junior Another great kid from the great state of Texas! I loved his Tex-Mex Style of cooking and the positive way he interacted with the other cooks, always offering encouragement. I was disappointed he did not make it to the dessert round. I believe if he keeps cooking he will be going places.




My Thoughts On Stove Tots

aaastovetots2I was worried about the show when I read it was like Dance Moms. And then, when I watched Stove Tots I had very mixed feelings. I hated all the drama with the moms fighting over who’s child should win instead of focusing on the kids’ amazing cooking talents. It totally misses the point of the kids cooking shows. For me, the cooking and the friendships are most important. I like how creative the kids are in the kitchen and how nice they are to each other in the break room.


One of the things that really made me mad is how the show made Mason and his mom, Kathy, look very arrogant. They edited Mason’s words to make it seem like he only cares about winning cooking competitions. But, he is not like that. I have talked to him online and he is one of the most humble kids ever; he did not brag about how he won Chopped Jr. and he really liked meeting new friends on the show. In addition, Stove Tots made his mom look mean by showing her happy when Talia was having trouble. In reality, Kathy was actually happy another time and it was just edited to look that way. In real life, Mason and his mom have the sweetest Mom & Son relationship I have ever seen, but the show made it seem like they were always fighting. So, they made Kathy seem rude and happy when kids are failing, and Mason seem like he was just there to win, but this is not who they are. Also, Mason himself said he hated how they made him and his mom look since they are nice in real life. If I worked on Stove Tots I would show Mason as someone who is very nice and loves his mom, and his mom as someone who is proud of her son. That would be true reality television since that’s how they really are.

Unfortunately, the editing ruined the show for me. I’ve been a fan of Ryan Kate since Season 3 Master Chef Junior and would have enjoyed re-watching her win Stove Tots if they had not done that to my buddy, Mason. I was happy when I learned he and Ryan Kate became friends on the show and that his mom got along perfectly fine with other moms.

There were also things I liked about Stove Tots, like seeing some of my old favorites back in the kitchen. I was happy to see Chopped Junior winner, Caroline win again and for Zac, Elliot, Ayla, Ryan Kate and Jacob to get their wins in a television cooking competition.

It was also great to see Chris, Bryce, Nick, Paris and Kayla cooking again even though they didn’t win.

And, it was great to meet some new young chefs. I was happy Miles won in the first episode and thrilled when Devlyn won the eighth episode. Devlyn was my favorite new kid chef because he seemed so nice, like someone I would be friends with. I was happy about that.

Over all Stove Tots is just OK. I give it 5/10. I did not like the made up drama with the moms and false presentation of some of the kids. If the parents had to be on the show, I would have them as helpers and there for hugs if the kids got upset. I’d have the show focus on cooking, not fake drama. Or, instead of a parent have a best friend be the support person. That would be cool! I will still re-watch certain episodes because I like kids cooking shows, but not the ones that made the kids and their moms look bad.

Max’s Chopped JR Recap “Hot Potato, Not Potato”



Ted Allen introduces 4 new kid chefs to compete in today’s episode.

13 year old Liam Dertinger from Staten Island, NY. If he wins he wants to donate the money to the homeless since he knows some people don’t have anywhere to live. “I can win Chopped Junior because I have knowledge and expertise of culinary abilities.”


12 year old AJ Espinoza from Freeport, NY. Her heritage is Italian and Ecuadorian, and she likes to cook pasta. “I’m a natural comedian. My extra, special, secret ingredient is to have a good humor in the kitchen.”

10 year old Sarah Hullihen from Vineland, NJ. She is an advanced student and also likes to play sports. “I love, love, love to cook. I have a ‘Jersey fresh’ style of cooking. Means there’s a lot of farm stands in my area.”

And, 12 year old Jayla Hill, from LA, CA. Her mom taught her how to cook and now she has pies, chocolate covered strawberry and cupcake businesses. “At school I’m in a leadership class and I want to help the school expand and do better things.”

In the Chopped Kitchen there are three rounds with mandatory mystery ingredients for every course. Ted says, “If your dish doesn’t cut it, you will be chopped!” The judges are Chopped regular Chef Marc Murphy, Actor & Musician, James Maslow & former Chopped Champion, Chef & Entrepreneur Lazarus Lynch. The guest judges are excited to be here, and Marc says, “Some of these kids we’ve been seeing coming through “Chopped Junior” are just nailing it!”

For the Appetizer Round they must cook with Ground Beef, Spinach, Chive Blossoms and Presidential Chocolates. Ted says, “You have thirty minutes to solve this culinary riddle. The clock starts now!”



Liam made Bacon Gruyère Chive Sider with Spinach Pesto. Lazarus says the meat is nice and juicy. James says it is like a gourmet burger, “Nice job!” Marc agrees the burger is good, but he wants more herbs in the pesto for more flavor, and the chocolate shot is not very well incorporated into the dish.

AJ made Spinach & Beef Salad with Spicy Chocolate Vinaigrette. Both Lazarus and James loved the mozzarella in the dish. Marc says the sauce is too sweet, it needed less chocolate and more balsamic vinegar.

Sarah made Open-Faced Slider with Spinach. Lazarus likes the presentation. Marc likes how the meat is seared and smart use of the chive blossoms, but not enough chocolate. All the judges wished there was more than one slider.

And Jayla made Beef Taco with Carrot, Spinach & Chive Coleslaw and Spicy Chocolate Sauce. Lazarus likes the cayenne with chocolate and says the sauce is very luscious. James is surprise he likes the chocolate in the appetizer. Marc says the spinach and chive combo is a good idea, but it is too oniony. Less chives.

Cloche up and the one chopped is … AJ since her chocolate vinaigrette was not very successful. She says, “The chocolate was really hard, you know, but I’m actually proud of what I did. I’m going to continue working hard. And win or lose, I still got to meet James and Ted Allen. So, that was really cool.”

For the Entrée Round Sarah, Liam and Jayla must cook with Pork Tenderloin, Baked Potato Cake, Mouscron Mushrooms and Thumbelina Carrots. “Thirty minutes is back on the clock, and we are starting it now!”


Liam made Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Cream Sauce. Lazarus likes the presentation of the medallions and the use of sauce. James likes the sweetness of the sauce and the carrots but notes his are a little burned. Marc says the pork is slightly pink as it should be, but the carrots needed to cut more evenly so they would cook more evenly. “Knife skills are a big part of cooking.”

Jayla made Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Vegetable Medley. Lazarus says, “This pork is cooked absolutely perfectly. It’s so moist. It’s delicious. It’s like running my knife through butter.” But James says the sauce is too sweet. Marc agrees and says it should have been cooked with onions, cream, butter and just a little bit of the vanilla cake. “But, nicely done on the pork. Nicely done on the little vegetable medley.”

And Sarah made Pork Tenderloin Stir-Fry with Mushrooms & Carrots. Her bite size chunks of pork are creative, but unfortunately made her meat dry. Lazarus says the dish needed a sauce. And Marc says, “Your idea was a great idea. I think if you had more time you could have really nailed this dish.”

Cloche is up the next one chopped is … Sarah since her pork was a little dry and needed a sauce. She says, “The time just got to me. But I think this will make me a better chef because whether you win or lose builds up character.”

For the Dessert Round Liam and Jayla must cook with Trail Mix, Gelatin Parfait, Whipped Honey and Red Delicious Apples. “Clock set at thirty minutes again. Let’s start it up now!”

Jayla made a Fruit Tart with Greek Yogurt Sauce. Lazarus likes the clean presentation and textures and how she is balancing the sweetness with salt and lemon juice. Marc agrees, but the big piece of licorice was a problem. “It’s a little jarring to be eating a fruit tart and all of a sudden come about a big piece of candy.”

And Liam made Apple & Mixed Berry Compote with Brown Sugar & Graham Cracker Crust. Again, Lazarus likes the presentation and James loves the crispy crust and the sweetness. But Marc disagrees, “The level of sweetness is way up there. It’s a lot of sugar.”

So, whose dish is on the chopping block? … Jayla since she had some flaws in each round. She says, “I’m going to keep my head up because I think I did really good. And, after being on Chopped I hope I get a lot more orders for my businesses.”

That means LIAM DERTINGER is the Chopped Jr Champion! He wins $10,000 and the coveted Chopped Jr. Chef’s Jacket! Liam says “It feels amazing to be a Chopped Champion and I think this win can inspire other kids to follow their dreams. Nothing is impossible, and your dreams can become reality.” He is still cooking today and has dyed his hair in many colors since the  show. 😊


Max’s Fantasy Chopped Jr Grand Champion Competition


16 of the best Chopped Jr Champions will return to compete for $50,000 and the title  of Chopped Jr Grand Champion! There will be four rounds with four chefs each. The winner of each round will get $15,000 and the chance to compete in the Grand Finale and win another $35,000 and a Chopped Jr. Grand Champion Chef Coat!




15 year old Daniel Kingman. He was one of the first Chopped Junior Champions and now with even more experience in the kitchen he believes he can be the Grand Champion.


14 year old Amelia Carpentieei. She says, “I have many more skills then last time I was in the Chopped Kitchen and I will take down my 6 competitors to get the win!”


13 year old Christian Bonadio. He is so excited to be back and says he has more tricks up his sleeve. Christian believes he can win today and in the Grand Finale.


And 14 year old Lily Nunziata. She says, I’m happy to be back and I’m going to grill the competition.”


And the judges are all Chopped Kitchen regulars, Marc Murphy, Amanda Freitag & Alex Guarnaschelli.

For the Appetizer Round they must cook with Corn on the Cob, Cereal Mix, Watermelon and Chicken Drumsticks. When they are cooking Lily drops her sliced watermelon into the gas grills, but she quickly cuts more and finishes her dish with only 10 minutes remaining. Amelia knocks her cereal all over the floor. She starts to cry, but Christian runs over, gives her his extra cereal and helps her plate at the end.

Time for the tasting.

Christian makes Cereal Crusted Chicken Leg with Corn Pieces and Grilled Watermelon. Alex loves what he did with the cereal. She says she would have never thought to use it so creatively.  Amanda loves the watermelon, but all 3 judges wish he did something more with the corn. Overall though, it is a good dish.

Lily makes Grilled Chicken, Grilled Watermelon and Corn with Cereal Crumble. Marc likes what she has done with the cereal because it adds a nice crispy texture to the corn. But, unfortunately the chicken skin is overcooked and the meat close to the bone is undercooked. 

Amelia makes Smoked Chicken Leg with Watermelon and Corn Salsa. Somehow, she forgets to use the cereal and it never makes it to the plate. Alex says the chicken is cooked well and the salsa is good. But is it good enough to overcome missing an ingredient?

And Daniel makes Baked Chicken Leg with Grilled Watermelon and Shaved Corn Kernels with Cereal Garnish. Amanda likes the chicken, but feels it is a bit too safe for a champion chef.  Alex loves the char on the grilled watermelon and Marc thinks the garnish is a creative idea.

Ted Allen lifts the cloche to reveal the first junior chef going home … Lily, since she served the judges uncooked poultry. Lily says “I am sad I was chopped, but I am one of the 16 best Chopped Junior Champions and I am proud of myself. I wish my fellow cooks good luck!”  


For the Entrée Round Christian, Amelia and Daniel must cook with Pork Chops, Apples, Green Beans and Anchovies. During the thirty minutes Daniel is cooking his pork too long and when the other cooks and even the judges tell him his meat is smoking, he doesn’t listen. Ted Allen wonders if the pressure is too much.

 Daniel makes a Pork Chop with Seared Green Beans, Baked Apples and Fish-On-The-Side. Marc says the pork is way overcooked. The fish is dry and was not incorporated into the dish harmoniously. Amanda liked the baked apple, but thought it was more a dessert item. And Alex wonders why Daniel wouldn’t listen to the warnings about the meat being overcooked.  

Christian makes Seared Pork Chop, Cooked Green Bean and Applesauce with Crispy Anchovy Garnish. Amanda loves the pork and applesauce combination. “ I like that I can dip my pork into the applesauce for a perfect bite.” Marc is surprised by how much the crispy anchovy adds to the overall dish. “It’s salty, it has great texture, and it is unexpected. I like that.”  Alex is a big fan of the perfectly cooked green beans. She eats all of hers and some off Marc’s plate.

And Amelia makes Grilled Pork Chop, Steamed Green Beans and Anchovy & Apple Salsa. Marc says the pork is nice and juicy. Amanda thinks steamed beans is too simple. And Alex is not sure about the salsa. “It shouldn’t work, but somehow it does.”  

Ted Allen lifts the cloche to reveal the next champ chopped is … Daniel, since his pork was overcooked. He says “I am super shocked I am chopped. I feel like my dish was good, but I will not stop cooking and I will be a good chef one day.”


And for Dessert Round Christian and Amelia must cook with Strawberry Yogurt, Bananas, Cheddar Cheese Chips and Vanilla Cake Mix. Who will win, and who will be chopped?

Christian makes Frozen Banana Strawberry Swirl with Cheese Chip Brittle. All 3 judges love the dessert. Alex says, “The fresh fruit flavors compliment the creamy frozen pudding and the brittle adds a salty texture to the dish.” Amanda and Marc both love it, but are wishing for a bit of chocolate.

And Amelia makes a Fruit Tart with a Cheese Chip Crumble. Marc likes the buttery crumble but says the tart shell is more like cake. “Maybe you should have called this a cake?” Alex likes the idea of a banana and strawberry filling, but think it needed more sugar to counter the bitterness of the yogurt.

Ted Allen lifts the cloche for the last time to reveal the one chopped is … Amelia, since she forgot the basket ingredient in the first round and her dessert that didn’t quite come together. She says, “I am disappointed I got chopped but I made it to the dessert round. I am so happy for Christian and I know he will do great in the finale.”


That means CHRISTIAN BONADIO is once again a Chopped Junior Champion. He wins $15,000 today and gets to come back to compete for $35,000 more and the tile of Chopped Junior Grand Champion.   




We meet the 4 Champions back for more cooking:

15 year old Sean Lew. He says he has learned lots more cooking skills and will once again, dance his way to victory.


12 year old Caroline Coleman. She looks sweet, but says, “I’m fierce and I will win!”


13 year old Ellie Kuhnle. She was the first ever Chopped Junior Champion. She says, “Now I want to be the first Grand Champion and that means I have to focus on my win today.”


10 year old Elan Satchit. A recent Junior Champion he is the youngest cook today. “I may be only ten, but I’ve won before against older cooks, and I can do it again!”


Today’s Chopped Junior judges are Chris Santos, Marcus Samuelsson and Maneet Chauhan. Ted Allen announces it is “Time to open the baskets!

For the Appetizer Round the young Chopped Jr Champions must cook with Smoked Salmon, Cooked Chicken & Rice, Ketchup and Pickles. After 30 minutes of frantic cooking it is time for the tasting.

Caroline makes Salmon, Chicken & Rice Sushi, with Ketchup & Pickle Wasabi! Maneet loves the horseradish in the wasabi and says it works just right with the unusual sushi. Marcus is impressed with the presentation and says he is surprised Caroline knows how to use seaweed for wrapping.   

Elan makes Chicken Fried Rice with Salmon and Grilled Pickles. Chris likes it but says the grilled pickles don’t fit with dish. Maneet wants more spice, “Maybe a dash of smoked paprika would have complemented the smoky salmon?”

Ellie makes Egg Rolls Two Ways with Spicy Sauce. One has chicken and one has salmon. Chris says the dish is wildly creative, but he can’t find any pickle in or out of the egg rolls. Maneet agrees. She is impressed with the flavors in the fillings and the crispy deep fried wrappers, but, “I can’t detect any pickle flavor. Ellie realizes she lost track of the pickle and never added it to the sauce as she had intended.

And Sean makes Spiced Salmon with Chicken & Rice over Pickle-Ketchup Sauce. Chris loves the chicken but says Sean over spiced the dish and doesn’t like the flavor of the sauce. Marcus disagrees with Chris, and says he enjoys the punchy flavor in the sauce.   

And the first cook to be Chopped is … Elan, since his dish lacked flavor and the pickles were not integrated well. He says, “I am super sad I got chopped, but I am proud of what I did and I will not stop cooking.”


For the Entrée Round Caroline,Ellie and Sean must cook with Steak, Garlic, Flat Bread and Vanilla Wafers.

Caroline makes Flat Bread Wrapped Steak with Garlic-Cookie Sauce. Marcus loves her sauce idea and he wants to know how she cook the meat so perfectly. Chris agrees. He says, garlic and cookies should never go together, but somehow it works! Nice job.”

Ellie makes Cookie Crusted Steak on Flat Bread. Sadly, the steak is a bit dry and the bread is soggy from the escaping juices. Marcus says he would have put the bread on the side. Maneet says it still tastes amazing because the cookie crust added a nice flavor to the meat.

And Sean was trying to make almost the same thing as Ellie, but time got away from him and he only got the bread on 3 out of 4 plates. Chris’s plate doesn’t have bread and he is not please about it. Plus, all the judges agree, the steak is very overcooked.

And the second cook to be chopped is … Sean, since he missed an ingredient on one plate and overcooked the meat. He says, “I am bummed out. I don’t want to leave before the dessert round. I wish I had asked for help plating, I definitely will next time.”


For the Dessert Round Ellie and Caroline must cook with Cheese, Olive Oil, Apples and Tart Shells.

Caroline makes an Apple & Cheese Tart with an Olive Oil Ice Cream. Marcus says it is an amazing dessert. “It’s really a perfect blend between sweet and savory. Most professional chefs struggle with this skill.” Chris loves what she did with the olive oil and says he has never had it in ice cream before. Very creative.

And Ellie makes and Cheesy Apple Danish. Unfortunately, the crust is over-baked, and the cheese filling is leaking out the cracks. The presentation suffers. Maneet likes the idea more than the execution of this dessert. Marcus and Chris want something sweeter.

And the last young cook chopped is … Ellie, since she had more flaws in all 3 rounds of cooking. She hugs Caroline, shakes the judges hands, waves to Ted and says, “I am proud I got this far today. I will be cheering on Caroline in the finale. I really hope she wins!”


That means CAROLINE COLEMAN is once again the Chopped Junior Champion! She wins $15,000 and will return to the Chopped Kitchen to compete for the Grand Championship!




4 more Champions are excited to be back in the Chopped Kitchen!

14 year old Bella Coonis has been cooking every day to improve her skills and thinks she can win again.


13 year old Matt Grieco wants to win this time for his dad who taught him how to cook. 


13 year old Mason Partak is super excited to be back and says, “No matter want happens, I know I am a great chef.”

cjc-headshotAnd 12 year old Emily Roche, the youngest in the round, is hopeful that age won’t matter, and she can win and move on the Grand Championship.  


The judges for Round 3 are Amanda Freitag, Geoffrey Zakarian and Scott Conant.

For the Appetizer Round the Jr Champions must cook with Scallops, Asparagus, Kiwi and Bacon.

Mason makes Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Grilled Asparagus and Kiwi. Scott is worried about the cook on the scallops, but when he cuts them open he finds that Mason cooked them perfectly.  Geoffrey loves the grill marks and says, “Surprisingly, asparagus and kiwi taste great together.” And all 3 judges love the crispy bacon wrap, Amanda even takes one from Scott’s plate.

Matt makes Smoked Scallops with Kiwi Sauce and Boiled Asparagus. He cooked the Scallops well, but the kiwi sauce needed seasoning and tastes bland. Amanda says “The crumbled bacon on the asparagus was a good idea, but the bacon is so overcooked it tastes bitter.”

Emily makes Kiwi and Asparagus Soup with Seared Scallops. Geoffrey likes the bacon flavor in the soup and thinks it is wildly creative use of the ingredients, but wonders why the scallops were added. “You completely lost the texture of the sear.” Scott agrees and adds, “Sadly, my scallops are also undercooked.”

And Bella makes Seared Scallops over Grilled Asparagus with Kiwi Garnish. Scott says, “These scallops are done well, but the kiwi seems like an afterthought. And Amanda wishes Bella had done more with the bacon.  

Ted Allen lifts the cloche to reveal that the first one chopped is … Emily, since her scallops were undercooked and bacon a bit burned. She says, “Ugh, I wish I cooked those scallops a little longer. I know better. But, I still got to cook for the judges again and it was fun.”


For the Entrée Round Mason, Bella and Matt must cook Rack of Ribs, Oranges, Honey and Romanesco broccoli.

Mason makes his famous Orange & Honey Glazed Ribs over Romanesco Purée. Scott is impressed Mason can cook such tasty ribs in 30 minutes. “I read on your blog it usually takes you two days to make these ribs!” Amanda loves the sauce. Mason says, “I sell it by the jar.” And Geoffrey jokes, “Okay, you win, can I have 6 free jars?” 😊   

Bella makes Braised Short Ribs with Orange & Honey Sauce and Roasted Romanesco. Sadly, the ribs are undercooked. Scott says, “I think when you were checking the meat, you opened and closed the oven too much. The heat got out.” Amanda likes the seasoning on the Romanesco and the sweetness of the orange honey sauce. “I really wish I could dig into the ribs, but undercooked pork is a serious problem.”

And Matt makes Grilled Short Rib with Honey Glaze and Mashed Romanesco. Geoffrey is not happy with the dish. “There is so much honey on the ribs that it created a burned crust.” Scott agrees and holds up one of his ribs. “I think I got the most burned one here.” But Amanda points out that when you cut through the glaze the pork is cooked well inside. “Mine is juicy and full of flavor. And when I pair it with the mash, it’s actually very good.”    

The cloche is up and next one to be chopped is … Bella, since her ribs were undercooked! She says, “I am sad I did not get to make a dessert, but I am happy I got to cook in the Chopped kitchen with these incredible cooks. And, I can’t wait to see you wins the next round.”


For the Dessert Round Mason and Matt have to use Blue Cheese, Sugar Sticks, Cupcakes and Chocolate.

Mason makes Blue Cheese Crème Brûlée with a Chocolate Ganache Cake Chunk. Scott hates blue cheese, but he really likes how Mason transformed it’s strong flavors in the dessert. Amanda agrees. “I love the crunch of the sugar topping and the extra tang from the blue cheese in the cream.” Geoffrey especially likes the last bite of cake with the chocolate coating. “You really managed to hit so many notes here. A touch of citrus would have perfected it.”

Matt makes Blue Cheese Cake with Chocolate Sauce and Sugar Stick. Scott says, “This is a good attempt at a cake, but it’s very dense, almost too heavy.” Amanda disagrees, “I like it, it’s like a pound cake. And the chocolate sauce is delicious.” Geoffrey says, “But what am I supposed to do with the rock candy? It adds nothing to the dish.” Matt admits he forgot about that basket ingredient and stuck it in the cake in the last seconds, just to get it on the plate.

And the last young champion to be chopped is … Matt, since he burned the ribs in the entrée round and missed an ingredient in the dessert round.  He says, “I am not sad that I got beat by an amazing chef today and I wish him the best. Cooking in the Chopped Kitchen is an amazing experience I will never forget.”


That means MASON PARTAK is again the Chopped Junior Champion, is $15,000 richer and he takes the 3rd spot in the Grand Championship Finale.    




The last 4 champs will compete for the last spot in the grand finale and they are:

14 year old Liam Dertinger. He says, “Last time I donated my winnings to charities, but if I win this time I plan on using the money for culinary school.”  


14 year old Nicholas Bruzzano. He says, “I want to beat the champs and prove to people I deserved my win last time.”     


12 year old Taliah Dancil. She says, “I’m excited to be back and I’m bringing my A game today so I can go on to win the Grand Championship.”    


And, 11 year old Claire Hollingsworth. It has been two years since she won Chopped and she has grown a lot. She says, “I like cooking in the Chopped Kitchen because I learn a lot while I’m here, and it’s fun to win too.” 


The Chopped judges are Aarón Sánchez, Maneet Chauhan and Chris Santos.

For the Appetizer Round the cooks must use Shrimp, Hot Peppers, Grapefruit and Dinner Rolls.

Nicholas makes Spicy Shrimp Roll with Grapefruit Aioli. Chris likes how the shrimp is perfectly cooked and the rolls are nice and crispy, but he thinks there is a little too much heat. On the contrary, Maneet loves the heat and says, “I want to eat more and more of it.”

Claire makes Shrimp Gumbo with Spicy Toasted Buns. Aarón says the presentation is very good, but the shrimp is super chewy and Maneet notices she forgot to use the grapefruit! Chris likes the rolls a lot, but then gets flabbergasted when he finds a shrimp shell in his soup. Claire says, “Whoops! Sorry about that, Chef.”

Liam makes Grilled Spicy Shrimp & Grilled Grapefruit Slices. Aaron the  says the shrimp is cooked well but could have used a little more heat. Maneet likes the idea of grilled fruit, but thinks he might have made a mistake cutting the slices so thin, as they quickly dried out and added very little flavor to the plate.

And Taliah makes Deep Fried Shrimp with Spicy Grapefruit Cocktail. Chris loves the coating on the perfectly cooked shrimp. “But I don’t get this spicy fruit, it’s way too hot!” Even Maneet needs to drink water after tasting the grapefruit chunks and Aarón says, “I wish this fruit worked with the fried shrimp, but it just doesn’t.”

Ted Allen lifts the cloche to reveal that the first cook to be chopped is … Claire, since she overcooked her protein and left an inedible shell in her soup. She says, “I am disappointed to be chopped, but I had fun returning to the Chopped Kitchen, seeing Ted and the judges again and meeting other kids who love to cook as much as I do. That’s all that really matters.”


For the Entrée Round Liam, Nicholas and Taliah must cook with Salmon Filet, Shaved-Corn, Crimini Mushrooms and Extra Spicy Chips.

Liam makes Crispy Skinned Salmon on Butter & Spice Corn Sauté with Mushrooms. Chris says the fish is cooked well and the crushed chips add a nice heat to the veggies, but there is one major problem with the dish. Aarón agrees, “When you crisp the salmon skin as beautifully as you did, Liam, you need to place it skin side up. The great texture was lost when you placed it on the sautéed food. It’s a shame.”

Taliah makes Crusted Salmon with Creamed Corn & Mushroom Sauce. Maneet says, “The outer crust is delicious, but the fish is dry. I think it got overcooked because of the outer coating.” Aarón likes the creamy sauce on the side. But wonders if it is enough to make up for drying out the fish?

And Nicholas makes Spicy Pan Seared Salmon with Grilled Corn and Criminis. Maneet loves how Nicholas scraped the spices from the chips to use as a rub on the fish, and how the corn mixture cools it down. Aarón says, “The cook on this fish is spot on, man. Nice job.” Chris eats everything on his plate, he even wants the rest of the other judge’s salmon.   

The second young cook to be chopped is … Taliah, since her fish was over cooked She says, “Cooking in the Chopped Kitchen is a dream come true. And I got to do it twice! I wish Liam and Nick the best.”


For the Dessert Round Liam and Nicholas must cook with Strawberries, Chocolate Bars, Kale  and Vanilla Cake Mix.

Nicholas makes a Hidden Kale Lava Cake with Macerated Strawberries. Maneet loves how he incorporated the kale into the dessert by cooking it down and blending it into the chocolate cake batter. Aarón says, “I’m going to make this for my kids!” Chris likes how the chocolate lava oozes when he cuts into it, but says the strawberry pieces were too large and he found a green stem in his sauce.

Liam makes a Chocolate-Kale Tart with Strawberry Sauce. Aarón says the crust is nice and flaky and the chocolate filling is extremely moist, thanks to the kale, but it is a little too chocolaty. Maneet likes the dark chocolate and says, “The strawberry sauce helps to cut rich flavor.” Chris is happy with dessert until he finds an egg shell. Damn.

And the last one chopped is … Liam, since his grapefruit slices didn’t work, his salmon skin got soggy and he had an egg shell mishap. He says “I am very happy with my overall performance today. I cooked my heart out, but Nick did too, and today is his day. I hope he wins the whole thing!”


That mean NICHOLAS BRUZZANO is a two time Chopped Junior Champion and wins $15,000. Nicholas takes the last spot in the Grand Finale and will compete for another #35,000 and the Grand Champion Title!




4 of the best Chopped Junior Champions NICHOLAS, CAROLINE, MASON and CHRISTIAN will compete for $35,000 and the amazing title of Chopped Junior Grand Champion.

Ted Allen introduces the Grand Finale Judges: Aarón Sánchez, Maneet Chauhan and Scott Conan. And all attention focuses on the baskets

For the Grand Championship Appetizer Round they must cook with Ground Beef, Tomatoes, Beef Jerky and Naan.

Mason makes Naan Slider with Smoky Ketchup. At first, Scott is worried it’s too simple, but he loves the homemade ketchup on the juicy burger. Maneet says, “I’ve never used naan as a burger bun, but it’s a delicious idea.” And Aarón says it was a smart use of jerky to bring flavor to the tomato-based ketchup.

Christian makes Meatball Sub with Jerky Tomato Sauce. Aarón says, “The meatballs are seasoned well and cooked perfectly, but the beef jerky isn’t working in the sauce.” Maneet agrees, and wonders if he softened the meat in boiling water before adding it to the tomatoes. Christian says he did not. Scott explains, “Without softening the jerky meat it becomes extremely tough and difficult to chew.”    

Caroline makes a Beef Burger with Sliced Tomato. Her dish looks sloppy, but it tastes amazing. Scott likes how she mixed bits of jerky into the hamburger for flavor. “Smart choice, Caroline.” Maneet agrees about the hamburger itself, but feels like she could have treated the naan with more care because it is too dry and stiff.

And Nicholas makes Beef Jerky Meatloaf. Scott says, “This is a creative use of the ingredients. I like the way you soaked the naan in milk and added it to the ground beef and eggs. You even soaked the jerky enough to blend its flavors well. But this dish needed more time to cook.” Aarón agrees, “Yes, sadly my meatloaf is a bit undercooked in the center.” Maneet likes the sweetened tomato glaze top and says that with more time this dish could have worked.  

Ted Allen lifts the cloche to reveal that first junior chef chopped is …. Christian, since his dish was hard to eat with the hunks of chewy jerky. He says, “I am so happy I made it to the Grand Championship. All of us here are great cooks and I know my sister will be proud of me.”


For the Entrée Round Mason, Caroline and Nicholas must cook with Lamb Chops, Carrots, Mustard and Shortbread Cookies.

Mason makes Mustard Crusted Lamb Chop and Carrot Cole Slaw. It is amazing, he nailed it! Aarón says he cooked the lamb perfectly and mustard crust has a wonderful heat. Scott loves the tang in the carrot coleslaw. He says, “I’ve seen you cook several times now, you are really a creative cook.” 

Caroline makes Herb Crusted Lamb with Mustard-Glazed Carrots. Scott says, “My lamb is a tad overcooked, and the shortbread crumbs in the crust are burnt.” Maneet says she likes crust on the lamb and the carrots are absolutely delicious, but, unfortunately, her meat is also overcooked. Aarón  agrees the meat was cooked a bit too long, but the concept and presentation are wildly creative.

And Nicholas makes Lamb Chops with Carrot Purée. Maneet likes the dish, but is disappointed in the crust on the lamb because it falls off onto the dish.    Arron says :The cook on the lamb is great, but it loses a lot of seasoning because your crust just didn’t stick.” Scott liked the carrots for both presentation and taste.

And the second Junior Champion chopped is … Caroline, since her lamb was undercooked. She says, “The lamb got me this time, but I am proud of what I made, and I will keep cooking forever! Best of luck to Mason and Nicholas!”


For the Dessert Round Mason and Nicholas must cook with Raspberries, Pancake Mix, Mascarpone and Instant Coffee. Ted Allen comments to the judges that this is a great dessert basket and he wishes he would be tasting too.  

During the 30 minute cooking time Mason decides he will be making a redemption crepe and Nicholas decides he will be making cream filled cupcakes. Nicholas starts to panic when his cupcakes will not come out of the silicon molds. Mason runs over to help him and shows him how to run a small plastic knife around the edges and break the seal. Nicholas thanks him and gets back on track, and Mason gets back to his own dessert.

Mason makes Crêpe with Coffee & Cream Filling and Raspberry Sauce. His plate looks amazing and the judges can’t wait to dig in. Maneet says, “I’m impressed that you were able to create such light and fluffy crêpes in such a short amount of time.” Scott asks him why he stopped to help Nicholas and Mason says, “Even though I really want to win, I don’t want to win like that. My mother taught me it’s important to help each other in the kitchen and be a good sport.” 

Nicolas makes Coffee Crème Vanilla Cupcakes. They look pretty good, but Scott says he can taste raw flour in them. And Maneet says the raspberries on the side could have been incorporated into the dish better. Aarón says, “I want to compliment you on not giving up Nicholas. Even when it looked like your cupcakes were not going to work, you kept on trying.”

In the end the last young cook chopped is … Nicholas, since his meatloaf was unevenly cooked in the appetizer round and there was bits of raw flour in his cupcakes. Nicholas says, “I’m disappointed and I am super happy for Mason right now. He really earned it and if I had to lose to someone, it would be to him. This whole competition has inspired me to work harder and become an even better chef!”


That means MASON PARTAK is the first ever Chopped Junior Grand Champion!!! He wins the GRAND CHAMPION TITLE, another $35,000 for a total $50,000 and a coveted red Chopped Jr Coat! Mason is so happy he cries, and his mom comes into the Chopped Kitchen to congratulate him. Also the 3 other champs come back to receive Chopped Jr Medals. Mason says, “I am having so many crazy feelings right now! I can’t believe I won, but I am most happy that I got to cook with these amazing chefs!”





Max’s Chopped JR Recap “Three Ring Kitchen”


Ted Allen introduces 4 new kid chefs to compete in today’s episode.

10 year old Sam Khemlani from Rye, NY is influenced by her family heritages, Jewish and Indian cooking. Sam is inspired by female chefs and wants to be a trailblazer too.

10 year old Liam Pignolet from Waialua, HI is influenced by Japanese, American and Polynesian cooking popular on the islands. Liam is an extremely adventurous eater and has tried lots of crazy things, like pig ear, pig eyeball, fish eyeball and fried scorpion

10 year old Megan Hackett from West Orange, NJ. She is influenced by soul foods and southern cooking. Megan loves singing and dancing, she says she was born to perform.

And 11 year old Tanner Waxman from Hersey, PA. He is influenced by his dad’s work in food photography. When he grows up, Tanner either wants to be a chef or a professional football player.

In the Chopped Kitchen there are three rounds with mandatory mystery ingredients for every course. Ted says, “If your dish doesn’t cut it, you will be chopped!” Today the contestants will cook with circus food! Chopped Kitchen regular Geoffrey Zakarian is joined by two guest judges, Sunny Anderson, co-host on Food Network “The Kitchen” and actor, Ryan Guzman.

For the Appetizer Round the baskets ingredients are Corn Dogs, Avocados, Corn on a Stick and Circus Cookies.


Sam makes a Corn Dog Hash with Sweet Avocado Cream. Ryan says the presentation is “on point.” Geoffrey says the use of the cookie was “really smart” but the chili bites were too big. And Sunny loves the dill garnish.

Liam makes Hot Dog Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Avocado Corn Salsa. Sunny likes how the sandwich is portable and how she walk around with it. Geoffrey likes the vinegar in the salsa but thinks it needs more salt. Ryan says he got the best dish, his cheese was melted perfectly, and the salsa was refreshing, “You did an awesome job.”

Megan makes Corn Dog and Kale Circus Salad with Avocado and Cookie Crumble. Ryan likes the salad, but he and Geoffrey wish the dressing had some olive oil. Sunny suggests massaging the kale before serving it raw, makes it “less of a hard chew.” But overall, she says the salad is delicious.

And Tanner, who cuts his finger and loses a lot of time, does not give up. “The show must go on!” He makes a Corn Dog Taco with Guacamole and Sweet ‘N Spicy Sauce. The dish is seasoned well and brightened by the lime zest. Both Sunny and Geoffrey liked the salty feta, but Ryan says the peppers would have been better if they were cooked.

And the first young cook to be chopped is…. Sam since her hash needed an egg and the chili slices were too big. She says, “This experience in the Chopped Kitchen has been exhilarating. Even though I got chopped, I’m not going to give up my cooking dreams. My female role models never gave up, so neither am I.”

For the Entrée Round Liam, Megan and Tanner must cook with Sliders, Heirloom Tomatoes, Tiger Tails and Jester Potatoes.


Megan makes Pasta with Cheese Tomato Sauce and Potato Chips. Ryan says, “It tastes incredible.” Geoffrey says she used the basket well in her dish, but the cheese would have better in a béchamel. Sunny loves that the dish is seasoned well. When Megan is not cooking she likes to Beat Box – and Sunny sings along – “Megan, on Chopped Junior, cooking, the second round. Mac and cheese, didn’t go down. Pasta cheese, in town. What?”

Tanner makes Slider with Mashed Potatoes, Fried Tomatoes and Asparagus. Sunny says the presentation is perfect (remember his dad the food photographer), but Geoffrey wants to see the burger transformed and doesn’t like the sweet Tiger Tail crumbs on top of the dish. Ryan wonders what he will do with the money if he wins and Tanner says he wants to upgrade his kitchen for his dad.

And Liam makes Tiger Chili with Potatoes, Tomatoes and Sliders. Sunny likes the texture of the cabbage and friendly amount of heat. Geoffrey says it was “really, really good use of the slider,” but some of the potatoes are a little undercooked. Ryan wishes the dish was bigger, it is so good.

And the second young cook chopped is … Tanner since burger untransformed and too sweet. Tanner says, “I’m definitely proud of myself. I did the best of my ability. I think I did good. I’m a huge fighter and I won’t stop no matter what!”

For the Dessert Round Liam and Megan must cook with Carmel Apples, Concord Grapes, Elephant Ears and Circus Peanuts.


Megan makes Megan’s Sweet and Sour Fruit Compote Over Powdered Sugar Elephant Ear. Ryan likes how Megan changed plans when something didn’t work and thinks her dessert is “amazing.” Geoffrey says the topping is perfect blend of sweet and sour flavors. Sunny says she wishes for something more fun with the Elephant Ear. Megan says if she wins she wants to start an organization to help inner city kid follow their dreams.

And Liam makes Circus Peanut Banana Split with Apple & Concord Grape Sauce. Sunny likes how the dish is so much fun and that the deep friend Elephant Ear is nice and crunchy. But Ryan thinks it is a little overcooked. Both Ryan and Geoffrey think the ice cream is amazing. And Geoffrey likes the different textures, but the presentation could be better. Liam says he really wants to be the first person from Hawaii to win Chopped.

And the final young home cook chopped is … Megan. Sunny says, “Megan, you are an excellent chef. You have the ability to make decisions on the fly, which a lot of chefs don’t. You should be very proud of yourself. But the choice of cheese for the pasta was off and you could have had more fun with Elephant Ear.” Liam gives Megan a hug goodbye and it is so sweet, even Geoffrey tears up. Megan says, “Even though I didn’t win the $10,000 to start the organization, I’m still going to try and make art, music and cooking a possibility for other kids.”

And that means LIAM PIGNOLET is the Chopped Junior Champion!



He says, “This is one of the coolest things that happened to me in my 10 years. I feel like I’m making Hawaii proud and getting the $10,000 is really amazing.”