Chef Graham Elliot gets candid about judging the junior version of MasterChef
Masterchef judge and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot is all praise for the second batch of young ‘uns who are battling it out for the title of MasterChef Junior. “You get to see the youth of America learn that food and cooking are fun creative outlets and that you don’t need to eat bad food just because it’s there,” begins the American chef, who also judges the regular version of MasterChef in America.
One highlight of the MasterChef Junior segment, Elliot says, is how they (Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and himself) interact with the contestants. “We have 10 children between three of us so I think you see us more as coaches/father figures in the kitchen as opposed to simply judges,” he tells us, elaborating that the challenging bit is when someone has to go home. “These kids put their heart and soul into the food and it’s very intimidating cooking for someone and being criticised.”
But we cornered him into picking one child, so Elliot picked Logan Guleff. “Logan reminds me of my oldest son Mylo Ignatius in how he thinks and how creative he is,” says the judge of the young aspirant who ‘hopes people will get inspired to just try’. “My passion for food has taken me to amazing places and I have met extraordinary people all because I am willing to try. Be a food explorer today,” says the young gourmand from Memphis.
Advising viewers and aspiring chefs to not shy away from experimenting, Elliot says, “Don’t be afraid to try new things. There are no rules when it comes to creating, it’s all grey area, not black and white.” And perhaps the younger lot’s willingness to be creative makes Elliot favour the Junior version of the show. “MasterChef Junior is less ‘serious’ and you can show that food is fun as well as competitive. Plus, it inspires so many people at home to cook with their families,” he shares. It’s fun to see the world of cooking through the eyes of children who approach cooking with an open mind, he signs off. Airs every Saturday at 9 pm on Star World Premiere