Gordon Ramsay is easily one of the most famous celebrity chefs in the world. Even those few people who have never watched an episode of any of his more than 10 television shows know him as the ruthless chef with great insults. Creative insults, whether on television or Twitter, have become his brand. Despite this, there is one platform where the famous Gordon Ramsay insults make no appearance: “MasterChef Junior.” Last week, season seven of “MasterChef Junior” premiered on Fox, and served as a friendly reminder that Gordon Ramsay is capable of expressing himself in more than just witty, condescending comments.
Accompanied by chef judges Christina Tosi and Aarón Sanchez, Ramsay kicked off the new season with a group of 24 incredibly talented children who do not miss an opportunity to remind everyone that they are not like other kids their age.
These junior competitors, between eight and 13 years old, show more sophistication in the kitchen than most college students. That said, outside of the kitchen, these young geniuses still think according to their age. One of the main prizes of the competition is $100,000, and in true kid-logic, when asked what she would do with the money if she won, Sadie, 12, responded, “I would definitely buy 17 more cats and then I’d buy my cats a mansion.”
But the junior competitors are not just creative when it comes to the use of their money. From their very first challenge, a breakfast dish, the junior competitors showed what they can do in the kitchen and the skill with which they can do it. Even at such young ages, these kids have mastered their signature style. For some, like Ben, 11, it is all about trying different world cuisines. Meanwhile, for others like Kate, 8, the best strategy is to keep it close to home — in her case, Alabama.
Despite the enormous amount of talent, not everyone was successful. After the first challenge, some children clearly stood out, but unlike regular MasterChef competitors, these junior competitors do not demonstrate envy. Rather, they demonstrate support and genuine happiness for one another. As the first episode closed with an elimination challenge, the judges and competitors alike were preoccupied with building each other up.
Ramsay switched out his usual snarky comments for encouraging words and sweet praises. And though competitions with petty rivalries and clever insults are always entertaining to watch, it is heartwarming to see an environment not yet corrupted by this pettiness. Because it was premiere night, there were two new episodes on Tuesday night instead of the usual one. The second episode only helped to make the season even more uplifting, with a banana split theme and one of the most memorable and enjoyable team challenges of the entire show.
Replacing the good spirits of this team challenge, however, the second elimination challenge tasked the junior competitors with cooking lobster. There are plenty of 20 year olds who cannot even go near a live lobster, and yet these kids rocked the challenge and impressed the judges. It was a fantastic example of why this show has achieved its high levels of success. By the second elimination of the season, there was a sense of sadness, not only because of the children sent home, but also, selfishly, because we must wait until the next Tuesday to have those solid 40 minutes of pure, childlike enjoyment.
In the meantime, Ramsay’s Twitter is always available if you’re looking for his signature comments.