Meet the NY Metro Area Contenders on 'MasterChef Junior' Season 4

Meet the NY Metro Area Contenders on 'MasterChef Junior' Season 4

Meet the MasterChef Junior Season 4 contestants who hail from the NY metro area, including Adam from Brooklyn, NY; Amaya from Bergenfield, NJ; Jesse from Manhattan; and Kaitlyn from Yorktown Heights, NY.
 

Season 4 of MasterChef Junior premieres on FOX on Friday, Nov. 6 at 8pm, featuring talented young chefs from across the country. Here, you'll meet four contenders who call the NY metro area home, including Adam from Brooklyn; Amaya from Bergenfield, NJ; Jesse from Manhattan; and Kaitlyn from Yorktown Heights.

 

Meet MasterChef Junior Adammaster chef junior contestant adam

Age: 11
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Signature Dish: Pan-seared pepper steak

How old were you when you first started cooking?
Maybe 6. The first dish I can recall making was I helped my dad make spaghetti and meatballs.

Who inspired you to get in the kitchen?
It was my dad and my uncle.

What do you love about cooking?
I like that it’s the best kind of art because even though it only lasts a couple of seconds, it’s something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

What advice do you have for other kids who want to start cooking?
Go for it because if you make a huge mess or fail at something, you can always try again.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
I really like to go to this sushi place called Sushi Yu, and an Italian place call Enzo’s in Park Slope.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I don’t really know yet, but probably a film director. My favorite [director] is Quentin Tarantino.

Besides cooking, what are your favorite activities or hobbies?
I like to play guitar and piano. I do watch a lot of movies.

Were you nervous to meet Gordon Ramsay?
Kind of. When I first walked in, the three judges were standing up, and I was standing right in front of him because I was one of the shorter ones. So it was kind of cool, but kind scary at the same time because I was really nervous.

Why did you want to be on MasterChef Junior?
My mom told me they were having auditions for it, and I watched a little bit of the show on Hulu and it looked cool, so I figured I might as well try. And I go and there were, like, 1,000 other children there, and I was like, Yeah I’m probably not going to make it. But I did!

It was pretty cool because they told us all together. They said, "You’re all going to be staying a little longer. You’re on the show." And every one was a little confused for a second, but we all realized what they said and then everyone was shouting "Yay, yay, yay!" So it was really cool. 

What was the best part of being on MasterChef Junior?
Learning to cook a lot of new things, that awesome huge piñata [Don't miss the premiere to see what Adam is talking about!], getting a month off school. 

RELATED: Find Kids' Cooking Classes Near You

 

Meet MasterChef Junior Amayamaster chef junior contestant amaya

Age: 10
Hometown: Bergenfield, NJ
Signature Dish: T-bone steak with asparagus and her ‘special sauce’

How old were you when you first started cooking?
I was 4, and I made a plate of cookies with my aunt.

Who inspired you to get in the kitchen?
It was my mom.

What do you love about cooking?
I love that you can just be free and put your special touches to the food and create whatever you like.

How do you balance school, seeing friends, after-school activities, and cooking?
Usually I’m already done with my schoolwork, but as long as I get my parents’ permission I can cook.

What advice do you have for other kids who want to start cooking?
Get creative with it; be very cautious with hot things, knives, and other sharp objects; and just have fun.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a teacher when I grow up.

What is your idea of the perfect meal?
It would be nice and hearty like my signature dish with a dessert, like a nice rich chocolate mousse.

Were you nervous to meet Gordon Ramsay?
At first, I was, but then I got to know him and he’s actually really nice!

Why did you want to be on MasterChef Junior?
I really wanted to learn more about cooking and it seemed very fun and it's a life-changing, one-of-a-kind experience. It was really cool, too. I thought it was going to be really fun, so I wanted to do it.

What was the best part of being on MasterChef Junior?
The cooking. I just got very focused and I enjoyed it very much.

RELATED: Season 3 Contestant Kayla Mitchell Shares Her Experience

 

Meet MasterChef Junior Jessemaster chef junior contestant jesse

Age: 11
Hometown: New York, NY
Signature Dish: Homemade pasta with caprese salad appetizer

How old were you when you first started cooking?
I was 10.

Who inspired you to get in the kitchen?
My dad.

What do you love about cooking?
I like how creative you can be in the plating because it’s almost like art in a way. You can make a really pretty plate.

What’s your favorite type of cuisine to cook?
I really like making Asian food because it’s really good and tasty.

What advice do you have for other kids who want to start cooking?
Just follow your dreams, keep trying, and don’t give up.

Where is your favorite place to eat in the city?
I really like this place called Vanessa’s. It’s a Chinese spot that has dumplings.

Who’s your favorite chef?
My favorite chef is Gordon Ramsay or Jamie Oliver because they’re British and they make really cool cuisine. Jamie Oliver cooks more rustic and Gordon cooks more gourmet.

What is your idea of the perfect meal?
I think the perfect meal is something like a giant buffet with all these different types of cuisines with perfect tastes. And then afterward you get a giant bucket load of candy.

Were you nervous to meet Gordon Ramsay?
Not really. I always knew he was a big old softy.

What is the best piece of advice you got from the judges on the show?
The best piece of advice they gave me was Graham Elliot showed me a different way to test if chicken is done cooking or not. 

Why did you want to be on MasterChef Junior?
I remember I’d seen the other kids going on the show and I was a little jealous in a way. So my dad found the audition and I auditioned and got on. And it was really exciting.

What was the best part of being on MasterChef Junior?
I liked every part of the competition. We got to meet a lot of people, make new friends, and got to meet the judges which was really fun. And I’m still in contact with a lot of the other kids.

RELATED: Download Our E-Book for Some Kid-Friendly Recipes

 

Meet MasterChef Junior Kaitlynmaster chef junior contestant kaitlyn

Age: 11
Hometown: Yorktown Heights, NY
Signature Dish: Steak with potatoes, molasses sauce, and kimchee

How old were you when you first started cooking?
I would say I was about 5 or 6 years old. I helped my mom make mashed potatoes and I helped my grandpa make apple pie for Thanksgiving.

Who inspired you to get in the kitchen?
It would probably have to be my nana, my grandmother. I feel like I base my entire cooking style off her because she always cooks for us when we visit her or when she visits us. We have very similar cooking styles, like we both like to cook traditional dishes but with our own little twist.

What’s your favorite type of cuisine to cook?
My favorite type of cuisine to cook definitely has to be Korean fusion. There’s this burger that I make that’s a ground sirloin and rib eye burger and it has Brussels sprout kimchee. It’s like an American burger, but it’s a Korean version of a burger.

How do you balance school, seeing friends, after-school activities, and cooking?
Well I try to keep my priorities. Now my one priority is school, so if I get all my schoolwork done, I’ll think about what I’ve done in the past few days. I usually try and cook, but sometimes if I need a little break, I’ll hang out with my friends or go to the gym and do some laps in the pool.

Besides cooking, what are your favorite activities or hobbies?
Other than cooking, you could probably say I’m pretty athletic. I play travel soccer, I’m on a swim team, and just a couple of days ago I tried volleyball and I really enjoyed it, so I’m trying out for a team for this season.

What advice do you have for other kids who want to start cooking?
I think my advice would be to just believe in yourself and try new things because you learn more from your failures than from your success. So if at first you don’t succeed, try again.

Who’s your favorite chef?
My favorite chef of all time, I have three: Alton Brown, Guy Fieri, or Gordon Ramsay.

Were you nervous to meet Gordon Ramsay?
I was really nervous to meet him because I was afraid he would yell at me and curse at me. He was nothing like he looks on TV. He was super sweet, and I think he’s a little more patient with the kids than he is with the adults.

What is the best piece of advice you got from the judges on the show?
I already knew this, but they really emphasized trying your food because if you don’t try your food, you can’t guess what it will taste like. It falls into the category about seasoning and they taught us a lot about that and really emphasized both of those points.

Why did you want to be on MasterChef Junior?
I really wanted to audition for MasterChef Junior because I thought it looked like the coolest thing ever. It looked like so much fun. They had to do all these crazy challenges, and I really wanted to try the experience for myself.

What was the best part of being on MasterChef Junior?
The best part was meeting all the junior chefs from all over the country because we all learned a lot from each other, and we keep in touch almost daily. Even though it was a competition, we were all kind of rooting for each other and hoping that everyone would win.

RELATED: Meet the Manhattanite Who Won Season 1

Main photo: The 24 contenders on MasterChef Junior Season 4 meet the judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Christina Tosi.
All photos by Greg Gayne / FOX. © 2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.