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[10/02/14 - 12:30 PM]
Sixteen Junior Home Cooks Step Up to the Plate on the Season Premiere of "MasterChef Junior" Tuesday, November 4, on FOX
Host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay and fellow judges restaurateur Joe Bastianich and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot welcome 16 of the best junior home cooks in the country between the ages of eight and 13.

[via press release from FOX]

SIXTEEN JUNIOR HOME COOKS STEP UP TO THE PLATE ON THE SEASON PREMIERE OF "MASTERCHEF JUNIOR" TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, ON FOX

Their signature dishes include Beet Carpaccio with a M?che Salad, Coffee-Crusted Filet Mignon and Pan-Seared Scottish Salmon - and they're just kids! MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, last season's No. 1 new unscripted series, is back, and the kids are more skilled than ever. Season Two of the hit cooking competition series returns on Tuesday, Nov. 4 (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 16 of the best junior home cooks in the country between the ages of eight and 13 - including one eight-year-old; two nine-year-olds; four 10-year-olds; two 11-year-olds and seven 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 first-ever MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, Alexander Weiss, returns to the kitchen as a special guest. Alexander presents the mystery box challenge, and the 16 junior home cooks will be tasked with preparing impressive dishes using the special guest's favorite ingredients, including pork chop, pork tenderloin, green apples, hazelnuts, Brussel sprouts, filo dough, fingerling potatoes, wild rice, whole grain mustard and artichoke. The winner of the challenge will have a significant advantage and select which of the judges' favorite proteins the remaining contestants will prepare in the elimination round. Later, the 12 junior home cooks with the best dishes will advance in the competition.

This season, the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR finalists will compete in a series of delicious challenges and cook-offs, including a sticky pancake challenge, a three-legged race featuring cupcakes and MASTERCHEF JUNIOR's first-ever pop-up restaurant. Also this season, the kids will cook for some very special guest judges. Along the way, the judges will coach and encourage the budding cooks until one talented kid is named America's next MASTERCHEF JUNIOR.

Meet the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Top 16 and find out their signature dishes:

Abby Age: 8 Hometown: Winchester, VA Signature Dish: Southwest Chicken Lettuce Wraps Favorite Dish to Eat: "Steamed clams!"

Adaiah Age: 12 Hometown: Danbury, CT Signature Dish: Salmon with Lemon Butter on a Bed of Kale and Lemon Stir Fry Favorite Dish to Eat: "Pan-Seared Grouper with Bahamian Peas and Rice!"

Berry Age: 11 Hometown: Beverly Hills, CA Signature Dish: Moroccan Chicken Favorite Dish to Eat: "Cheung Fun, a Hong Kong dish. It is a thin roll made from a wide strip of rice noodles, filled with shrimp, pork, beef, vegetables and other ingredients."

Coco Age: 10 Hometown: Aquilla, TX Signature Dish: Chicken-Fried Deer Steak Favorite Dish to Eat: "Probably fish tacos made from freshly caught bass from one of the ponds on our ranch. We make the tacos with fried fish, topped with jalapeno cilantro slaw and remoulade. Makes me hungry just thinking about it!"

Isabella Age: 12 Hometown: New York, NY Signature Dish: Spaghetti Carbonara with Bacon Favorite Dish to Eat: "My favorite meal to eat is probably octopus salad. I just love cilantro and tomato together. It is one of my favorite combos."

Jessica Age: 10 Hometown: Grand Prairie, TX Signature Dish: Ground Beef Tacos with Pico de Gallo Favorite Dish to Eat: "Meatloaf with mashed potatoes, brown gravy and steamed vegetables!"

Josh Age: 10 Hometown: Forest Hills, NY Signature Dish: Sliders with Chipotle Aioli Sauce Favorite Dish to Eat: "Nothing can beat a great sushi selection. I have been eating all sorts of sushi ever since I was about six months old. My other favorite meal is a good plate of oysters."

Levi Age: 12 Hometown: Highland Park, IL Signature Dish: Pan-Seared Scottish Salmon with Maple Glaze and Arugula, Apple and Fennel Salad Favorite Dish to Eat: "Whole steamed Maryland Chesapeake Bay Crabs covered in Old Bay Seasoning."

Logan Age: 11 Hometown: Memphis, TN Signature Dish: Marinated Flat Iron Steak with Green Grapes Favorite Dish to Eat: "Sushi! I love Japanese food - it is so clean and well-prepared. I am lucky we have good sushi in the middle of the country, being so far from the ocean."

Mitchell Age: 12 Hometown: Paso Robles, CA Signature Dish: Seared Scallops Over Mashed Potatoes with a Tomato and Green Bean Salad Favorite Dish to Eat: "My favorite meal really depends on the time of year, the weather, lots of things. Sometimes I love sushi, sometimes I like soup. I love a great burger and the perfect pasta dish."

Nasir Age: 10 Hometown: Chicago, IL Signature Dish: Blue Cheese Stuffed Burger with Soy Ginger Pineapple and Bacon Favorite Dish to Eat: "I love a wonderful medium rare burger with cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes."

Natalie Age: 12 Hometown: Stevenson Ranch, CA Signature Dish: Salmon with Vegetables Favorite Dish to Eat: "Steak. Steakhouses are my favorite restaurants!"

Oona Age: 9 Hometown: New Haven, CT Signature Dish: Creamy Tomato Soup with Homemade Croutons and Smoked Paprika. Favorite Dish to Eat: "One of the best meals I've had was a Scallop Crudo Taco where the shell of the taco was a shiso leaf."

Sam Age: 9 Hometown: Reseda, CA Signature Dish: Omelet with Guacamole and a Strawberry Rose Garnish Favorite Dish to Eat: "My favorite meal to eat is a rainbow roll, because I love the taste of all of the different fish, and I like the look of the different colors on the roll."

Samuel Age: 12 Hometown: Greenbrae, CA Signature Dish: Beet Carpaccio with a M?che Salad and Walnut Oil Vinaigrette and Crumbled Goat Cheese Favorite Dish to Eat: "I love Thyme Chicken Cacciatore over Whole Wheat Pappardelle with a Crispy Skin Chip. The flavors remind me of home and the dish is very comforting on a cold winter night."

Sean Age: 12 Hometown: Santa Ana, CA Signature Dish: Coffee-Crusted Filet Mignon, Creamed Spinach and Ancho Mushroom Sauce Favorite Dish to Eat: "My favorite thing to eat is prime rib at a Vegas buffet."

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.

"Like" MASTERCHEF JUNIOR on Facebook at facebook.com/MasterChefJuniorFOX. Follow the series on Twitter @MasterChefJrFOX and join the discussion at #masterchefjunior.





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· MASTERCHEF JUNIOR (FOX)





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