The pint-sized cooks enter the kitchen when Junior MasterChef Australia premieres on Sunday, 11 October at 7.30 pm on 10 and 10 Play. The show will air Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday and will be the first time the format has aired in Australia since 2011, with the winning taking home $25,000 in prize money.
The show will feature home-style favourites as it celebrates cultural cuisines and recreates dazzling dishes with MasterChef Australia judges Melissa Leong, Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo along for the ride.
When Leong signed up to the new look MasterChef a return of Junior MasterChef wasn’t discussed but the newfound success of the franchise and the Covid-19 pandemic led to the show coming together this year. Leong said she jumped at the opportunity to be on the show.
“I was utterly thrilled, and I loved the idea from the get-go. Kids bring so much joy and energy to a space. While it has been several years since the last iteration I thought why not, there is always an opportunity to learn from our youth and I think we forget there is so much that we can learn from the generations much much younger than us.”
The Junior MasterChef will feature MasterChef classics like the mystery box, immunity challenges and of course eliminations, but there will be a sprinkle of some new ingredients to the shows winning recipe including the immunity gong, where two cooks will win the chance to bang the gong and save themselves from elimination during the competition.
With a fun flavour to the show, the format will also feature the young cooks collecting their own honey from a beehive, making their way through a snowy MasterChef kitchen, and taste a large amount of ice cream.
The season will see challenges set by Curtis Stone, Darren Purchese and Kirsten Tibballs, Morgan Hipworth and MasterChef Australia Back To Win winner, Emelia Jackson.
The 14 contestants on Junior MasterChef Australia:
Ben, 10, VIC
Ben is from Bendigo in country Victoria. His hobbies include making military models, playing the cornet and going to cub scouts. When he grows up, Ben dreams of being a website developer, an architect or a chef who specialises in telling a story with food and hopes to do that on Junior MasterChef.
Carter, 12, NSW
Carter holds aspirations to be a chef and own a hatted restaurant. He is also into sports including soccer, touch footy, swimming, little athletics and hip-hop dancing
Dev, 13, VIC
Born in Australia to Indian parents, Dev’s first love is making curries, but he also loves cooking Italian cuisine and making technical desserts inspired by Heston Blumenthal. Dev plays competitive tennis and classical guitar and enjoys hanging out with younger brother Sydh, 11.
Etka, 13, VIC
Etka has a passion for Indian and Thai cuisine, having lived in Thailand for a year. His interests are varied, with fishing, art and restoring and repairing old items amongst his favourite hobbies.
Filo, 12, VIC
He was first inspired to cook after spending time with his grandfather in Egypt, from about age five. He has also learnt from both his parents who are restaurateurs. When not in the kitchen, Filo loves soccer, practicing piano and playing with his dog and elder brother, Beshoy, 14.
Georgia’s idols include Poh Ling Yeow, Emelia Jackson and Laura Sharrad. Outside the kitchen, Georgia loves tennis and martial arts and is big sister to little brother Noah, eight.
Laura, 13, QLD
From Gold Coast Hinterland, Laura loves all types of cuisines, with Japanese, Italian, Thai, Indian and French amongst her favourites. Outside of the kitchen, Laura enjoys netball, Girl Guides, dancing and art.
Phenix, 11, NSW
Phenix’s dad is a trained chef and her mum owns a Vietnamese café. The proud owner of a pet turtle, Phenix has a host of hobbies alongside cooking, spending her time dancing, doing arts and craft, singing and playing basketball.
Porsha, 11, QLD
Porsha’s career goal is inspired by judge Melissa Leong, Porsha would love to be a food critic who travels the world when she grows up. She loves playing with her five-year-old brother, Leo, as well as doing dance, acrobatics and crochet.
Ruby, 11, WA
Ruby loves to cook with local produce and connecting with the cuisines of other cultures, enjoying eating Italian and Mexican in particular. She also loves surfing, playing flute and crafty projects.
Ryan, 11, SA
Ryan’s Dad, Sashi, actually won MasterChef Australia Season 10 in 2018, and Ryan is hoping to do the same in Junior MasterChef. Ryan can often be found whipping up desserts, brownies, ice cream and cakes. Ryan also enjoys playing soccer, skating and playing video games with his brother, Marcus 14.
Salvo, 13, WA
Born in Italy and moving to Australia at age five, Salvo is here to make his family proud and showcase his Italian heritage through his cooking. Listing his all-time favourite chef as Gordon Ramsay, Salvo thinks Jock will be the toughest judge to impress. Adventures, art, and customising shoes are all Salvo’s hobbies outside of the kitchen.
Tiffany, 14, QLD
Having battled juvenile arthritis, Tiffany is now feeling ready to throw herself into the Junior MasterChef competition. Tiffany has travelled a lot and in the last 18 months has been to Dubai, Egypt, Japan, Poland and England. Outside of the kitchen, Tiffany enjoys spending time with family and friends and shopping
Vienna, 13, VIC
First taught to bake at age five, these days Vienna usually bakes 2-4 times a week and often cooks dinner for her family. Vienna has overcome lymphoma in the past couple of years and has a very special relationship with her brother, Luca 9, who donated bone marrow to assist in her treatment. Known for her sweet creations, Vienna loves to eat Japanese, Vietnamese, and Italian cuisine and enjoys painting, dancing and netball.
Junior MasterChef Australia premieres on Sunday, 11 October at 7.30 pm on 10 and 10 Play.