The kids are back and taking over the kitchen. Season Three of the hit cooking competition series MASTERCHEF JUNIOR returns Tuesday, Jan. 6 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay and fellow judges restaurateur Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot welcome 19 of the best junior home cooks in the country between the ages of 8 and 13 – including two 8-year-olds; four 9-year-olds; three 10-year-olds; five 11-year-olds and five 12-year-olds – to the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR kitchen, where they will compete for the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR trophy and the $100,000 grand prize.
Also in the premiere episode, America’s Top 19 junior home cooks are introduced to their first mystery box challenge, in which they must make a complete restaurant-quality dish using only the ingredients in the mystery box. The winner of the challenge will have a significant advantage in the next round and select which of the judges’ favorite pastas the remaining contestants will prepare in the elimination round. Later, the 14 junior home cooks with the best dishes will advance in the competition.
This season, the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR finalists will compete in a wide range of delicious challenges and cook-offs, including a messy meringue pie challenge, a mystery box challenge featuring food that gets better with age, a sushi tag-team race and the fan-favorite restaurant takeover.
Meet the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Top 19 and find out their signature dishes:
AJ Age: 10
Hometown: Freeport, NY
Signature Dish: Grilled Chicken Wrap
Favorite Dish to Eat: “Angel hair spaghetti and meat balls!”
ALEXIS Age: 8
Hometown: Gilroy, CA
Signature Dish: Barbecued Breaded Chicken
Favorite Dish to Eat: “I love clams and lobster with garlic and butter sauce. And lots of lemon.”
ANDREW Age: 11
Hometown: West Deptford, NJ
Signature Dish: Chicken Milanese with Creamed Spinach and Cucumber Peels
Favorite Dish to Eat: "I enjoy all types of food, but my favorite is homemade pasta and meatballs."
AYLA Age: 11
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Signature Dish: Pumpkin and Corn Soup
Favorite Dish to Eat: "St. Louis-style barbecue ribs!"
CORY Age: 9
Hometown: Englewood, NJ
Signature Dish: Blackened Mahi Mahi with Lemon Garnish
Favorite Dish to Eat: “I love sushi!”
JACK Age: 12
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Signature Dish: Sweet and Sour Chilean Sea Bass with Asian Noodles, Shitake Mushrooms and Bok Choy
Favorite Dish to Eat: “Sushi!”
JENNA Age: 12
Hometown: New York, NY
Signature Dish: Sesame-Crusted Flash-Fried Tuna with Avocado on a Bed of Arugula
Favorite Dish to Eat: "Definitely steamed mussels in a white wine garlic sauce. I always eat it on my birthday."
JIANNA Age: 9
Hometown: Providence Village, TX
Signature Dish: Micro Baked Apple Crumble and a Spinach Strawberry Salad with Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing
Favorite Dish to Eat: “A big, fat, juicy steak with a loaded baked potato.”
JIMMY Age: 12
Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA
Signature Dish: Almond Ricotta Pancakes with Almond Whip Cream
Favorite Dish to Eat: "Even though I love to cook and experiment with really high-end, fancy foods, my absolute favorite food to eat is just plain old s'mores. I could eat those all day and night!"
KAYLA Age: 11
Hometown: Long Island, NY
Signature Dish: Lemon Chicken with Sautéed Asparagus
Favorite Dish to Eat: "A nice, medium rare steak with French Aligot. And of course I have to include the vegetables - steamed haricot verts with garlic, shallots and olive oil."
KYLER Age: 10
Hometown: Coto De Caza, CA
Signature Dish: Sweet and Sour Shrimp with Stir-Fried Riced
Favorite Dish to Eat: “My Grampy's Shepherd's Pie!”
MIA Age: 10
Hometown: Menlo Park, CA
Signature Dish: Scallops and Slivered Brussel Sprouts with a Balsamic Glaze
Favorite Dish to Eat: “Beef Wellington. I made it for the first time a few months ago!”
MICAH Age: 9
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Signature Dish: Maple-Glazed Salmon with Honey- and Orange-Glazed Carrots
Favorite Dish to Eat: “Macaroni and cheese with broccoli and cauliflower and mashed potatoes with gravy.”
NATHAN Age: 12
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Signature Dish: Tokyo-Style Ramen
Favorite Dish to Eat: “My favorite dish is by far my Nonie's pasta sauce and pasta that she makes on special occasions."
PARKER Age: 11
Hometown: New Buffalo, MI
Signature Dish: Asian Salmon with Asparagus
Favorite Dish to Eat: “Lamb shank, mashed potatoes and green beans!"
PHILLY Age: 9
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Signature Dish: Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms, Pasta and Brussel Sprouts
Favorite Dish to Eat: “Meatballs! All the breading, meat and parmesan cheese melts into the sauce, mix it all together over fine angel hair pasta... yum, so good!”
QUINCY Age: 12
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Signature Dish: Shrimp and Grits
Favorite Dish to Eat: “Filet Mignon with a shrimp diablo sauce, lobster-mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts with pancetta and shallots.”
RILEY Age: 8
Hometown: Carrollton, TX
Signature Dish: Schnitzel
Favorite Dish to Eat: “Homemade pasta sprinkled with olive oil and parmesan cheese. I love parmesan!”
RYAN KATE Age: 11
Hometown: Coppell, TX
Signature Dish: Crostini Alla Crechio
Favorite Dish to Eat: “Soup! I love eating all different kinds of soups, because there are so many varieties, and it can have so many healthy ingredients.”
MASTERCHEF JUNIOR is produced by Shine America and One Potato Two Potato, and is based on a format created by Franc Roddam and Shine. Shine International handles distribution for the MASTERCHEF format. Elisabeth Murdoch, Eden Gaha, Paul Franklin, Robin Ashbrook, Gordon Ramsay, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: For information on MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, please visit www.foxflash.com.]