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Meet The Newest Bite-Sized Batch Of Home Cooks On The Season Premiere Of "MasterChef Junior" Thursday, February 9, On FOX

December 19, 2016 - The kids are back for Season Five of the hit culinary competition series MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, premiering Thursday, Feb. 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Judges Chef Gordon Ramsay and Chef Christina Tosi welcome the latest crop of junior home cooks to the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR kitchen, where they will compete for the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR trophy and the $100,000 grand prize.

After a nationwide search, 40 of the best junior home cooks between the ages of eight and thirteen have been chosen for their final test – a culinary battle in the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR kitchen in front of Chefs Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi. Only the 20 best chef-testants who prove they have the chops to take home the trophy will move forward and earn a MASTERCHEF JUNIOR white apron.

This season, the kids will face exciting challenges, including completing a challenge from First Lady Michelle Obama; cooking a meal for more than 50 first responders; MASTERCHEF JUNIOR’s first-ever vegan challenge, from guest judge Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory”); and cooking for other VIPs, including Julie Bowen (“Modern Family”) and Muppets “Miss Piggy” and “Swedish Chef,” until one talented kid is named America’s next MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, taking home the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR trophy and $100,000 grand prize. 

In the season premiere episode, “The Quest for an Apron Part 1,” 40 junior home cooks come to Los Angeles ready to compete for a MASTERCHEF JUNIOR apron. In each culinary showdown, four chefs receive a unique challenge – from steak, to scallops to cupcakes. Two lucky winners from each group earn an apron and a chance to move on, while two head back home. The competition is tougher than ever as Gordon and Christina separate the best junior chefs from all the rest. All Top 20 contestants will be revealed in the following episode, “The Quest for an Apron Part 2,” airing Thursday, Feb. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Watch/share a first look at this season, featuring the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Top 40:

First Look – YouTube:

Meet the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Top 40 and find out their signature dishes:

Age: 12          
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Signature Dish: Chicken Kiev with Parmesan Potatoes and Asparagus

Age: 12     
Hometown: Jonesboro, GA 
Signature Dish: Surf and Turf with Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes

Age: 11
Hometown: Houston, TX 
Signature Dish: Buffalo Meatballs with Tomato Sauce


Age: 8
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Signature Dish: Coconut Curry Chicken Over Jasmine Rice

Age: 9       
Hometown: Staten Island, NY
Signature Dish: Fried Plantains with Columbian Cheese

Age: 9       
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Signature Dish: Apple Cinnamon Pancakes


Age: 9       
Hometown: Grand Junction, CO
Signature Dish: Smoked Pulled Pork with Peach Barbecue Sauce  


Age: 10       
Hometown: Douglas, GA
Signature Dish: Swiss Chard Wrapped Salmon with Rice Curry 


Age: 10   
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Signature Dish: Roasted Lamb Chops with a Mint and Lemon Marinade and Roasted Potatoes


Age: 9    
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY  
Signature Dish: Vegetable Stir Fry with Squid


Age: 9  
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY  
Signature Dish: Oven Baked Atlantic Salmon with Fettuccine and Cream Sauce


Age: 9
Hometown: New York, NY
Signature Dish: Spaghetti with Meatballs and Marinara Sauce


Age: 9           
Hometown: Sweetwater, TX
Signature Dish: Chicken Alfredo



Age: 12       
Hometown: Boston, MA    
Signature Dish: Chicken Meu’niere with Tomato, Parsley and Caper Sauce


Age: 10        
Hometown: Chicago, IL  
Signature Dish: Hickory-Smoked Pork Belly


Age: 11        
Hometown: Whitestone, NY    
Signature Dish: Causa Rellena de Pollo



Age: 8    
Hometown: San Diego, CA    
Signature Dish: Smoked Salmon Dip


Age: 11   
Hometown: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA    
Signature Dish: Poached Salmon with Spaghetti Squash and Salmon


Age: 11         
Hometown: Bellingham, MA
Signature Dish: Roasted Vegetable Panini with Squash, Peppers, Onions and Mushrooms


Age: 11        
Hometown: Milton, GA
Signature Dish: Oven-Baked Meatballs with Homemade Tomato Sauce


Age: 8        
Hometown: Leominster, MA
Signature Dish: Steak Tips and Green Beans with Mashed Potatoes


Age: 12       
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Signature Dish: Homemade Ravioli with Pumpkin Spice Puree and Alfredo Sauce


Age: 11         
Hometown: Sugar Hill, GA
Signature Dish: Grilled Steak with Homemade French Fries


Age: 11         
Hometown: Blauvelt, NY
Signature Dish: Mofongo


Age: 11        
Hometown: Saginaw, MI
Signature Dish: Garlic Shrimp in White Sauce Over Pasta with Garlic Bread


Age: 10        
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Signature Dish: Carne Asada Tacos with Guacamole


Age: 9         
Hometown: Rockport, MA
Signature Dish: Fresh Pasta with Homemade Marinara Sauce and Crostini


Age: 10         
Hometown: Evanston, IL
Signature Dish: Fish Sticks with Panko Breadcrumbs and Hand Cut Fries


Age: 9        
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Signature Dish: Vegetarian Lasagna


Age: 9       
Hometown: Temecula, CA
Signature Dish: Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Sautéed Vegetables


Age: 13        
Hometown: Starkville, MS
Signature Dish: Chicken Pot Pie with Homemade Stock


Age: 13         
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA
Signature Dish: Homemade Egg Ravioli


Age: 10       
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Signature Dish: Red Velvet Cupcakes


Age: 9       
Hometown: Cypress, TX
Signature Dish: Shrimp Scampi


Age: 10        
Hometown: Ringoes, NJ
Signature Dish: Red Pepper Pesto Pasta


Age: 9         
Hometown: Concord, MA
Signature Dish: Chocolate Cake with Homemade Hot Fudge and Mint Whipped Cream


Age: 10         
Hometown: Brentwood, TN
Signature Dish: Grilled Chicken with Roasted Broccoli and Mashed Potatoes


Age: 13        
Hometown: Spring, TX
Signature Dish: Parmesan Chicken Tenders


Age: 10        
Hometown: Houston, TX
Signature Dish: Smoked Salmon with Lemon Grass Kale


Age: 9         
Hometown: West Bend, WI
Signature Dish: Angel Hair Pasta with Onion and Green Pepper Marinara

MASTERCHEF is produced by Endemol Shine North America and One Potato Two Potato, and is based on a format created by Franc Roddam and Endemol Shine. Elisabeth Murdoch, Eden Gaha, Robin Ashbrook, Gordon Ramsay, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers. “Like” MASTERCHEF JUNIOR on Facebook at Follow the series on Twitter @MasterChefJfFOX and join the discussion with #MasterChefJunior. Follow the judges on Twitter: Gordon Ramsay - @gordonramsay; and Christina Tosi - @christinatosi.

Renowned for award-winning original programming, One Potato Two Potato produces high-quality TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including the smash-hit HOTEL HELL, the blockbuster MASTERCHEF and irresistible spin-off MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, all for FOX; as well as “Best New Restaurant” and competition series “Food Court Wars.” In the U.K., OPTP produces “Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars” and “Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape,” for Channel 4; food biography and nostalgia series “My Kitchen,” for UKTV’s Good Food Channel; and “Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch,” starring Tilly Ramsay for U.K. children’s channel CBBC. OPTP has also produced two instructional cookery series featuring Gordon Ramsay, “Ultimate Home Cooking” and “Ultimate Cookery Course,” both of which have sold all over the globe. 
Renowned for highly successful and award-winning original programming, multi-Michelin star chef Gordon Ramsay produces TV  shows on both sides of the Atlantic seen by audiences worldwide, including his current FOX shows, HOTEL HELL, MASTERCHEF, MASTERCHEF JUNIOR and MASTERCHEF CELEBRITY SHOWDOWN, as well as FOX’s upcoming THE F WORD; Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant”; and Food Network’s competition series, “Food Court Wars.” In the U.K., he’s produced “Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars” and “Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape” for Channel 4; food biography and nostalgia series “My Kitchen” for UKTV’s Good Food Channel; two instructional cookery series, “Ultimate Home Cooking” and “Ultimate Cookery Course” for Channel 4; and the first two seasons of “Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch,” starring Tilly Ramsay, for U.K. children's channel CBBC, all under his One Potato Two Potato banner.

His next generation multi-media production company, STUDIO RAMSAY, has a joint venture with All3Media to develop and produce both unscripted and scripted television shows, creating new formats and innovative programing, that includes a scripted arm focused on food-related themes, and development of new talent on a global front. The catalogue of programs that Ramsay has worked on historically with All3Media, via One Potato Two Potato, together with new original content he’s currently developing, make for a unique and dynamic production and distribution partnership.

Endemol Shine North America delivers world-class content and compelling storytelling to multiple platforms in the U.S. and across the globe. Endemol Shine North America is part of Endemol Shine Group, the global content creator, producer and distributor with a diverse portfolio of companies that are behind some of the most prominent hit television formats and series in the world.

Its Endemol Shine Studios division develops and produces original scripted television programming in the U.S. for global exploitation and Endemol Shine Latino oversees all Spanish-language sales and development in both the U.S. and now across all of Latin America. Subsidiary production companies include Authentic Entertainment, Original Media, True Entertainment and 51 Minds Entertainment. In addition, Endemol Shine North America has a strategic partnership with Ryan Seacrest Productions.

Endemol Shine Group’s companies in North America are behind such hit series as “Big Brother” (CBS), “The Biggest Loser” (NBC), “Hell on Wheels” (AMC), “Ink Master” (Spike), “Kingdom” (AT&T Audience Network), MASTERCHEF (FOX), MASTERCHEF JUNIOR (FOX), “Swamp People” (History), “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” (Bravo), “Steve Harvey” (NBCU), “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle” (VH1), “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge” (CMT), “Billion Dollar Buyer” (CNBC) and upcoming “Page Six TV” (Syndicated) “Hunted” (CBS), SUPERHUMAN (FOX) and “I’m Dying Up Here” (Showtime).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For information on MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, please visit]


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