MasterChef Junior: Marshmallow Madness

MasterChef Junior is back and this girl couldn’t be happier!  If you’re new here, MasterChef Junior (or MCJ, as I like to abbreviate things) is a cooking competition show for 8 – 13 year olds who all put me to shame.

This season, it’s 24 new kids and one new judge.  This is Christina Tosi’s first season of MCJ, and it’s nice to see her soak in the novelty of the situation.  These kids are amazing little cooks, and now that I’m 4 seasons in, that initial shock and magic kind of wore off.  I now accept that there are 8-year-olds with more refined paletes than mine.  Seeing it through Christina’s eyes brought that back, though.

The other fun thing about MCJ is there are a lot of cute gimmicks for the kids and for the families watching.  For example, the kids had to batter a giant piñata of Gordon Ramsay’s head to get their aprons.  Graham calls it Lord of the Flies.  Still, we start off like any other season of MasterChef: with a Mystery Box Challenge!

This one is symbolic.  Inside the Mystery Box is a lone bun, which the kids correctly guess is for burgers.  The top three are:


Avery, age 9 / Zac, age 12 / Kya, age 8

Kya wins becoming the first 8-year-old to win a Mystery Box Challenge.  Her advantage comes in the form of, of course, not having to cook.  She also gets to pick a friend to enjoy her treats (prepared by Christina) and also get a free pass into the next round.  She selects Vivian.  She does not have control of the elimination challenge ingredient, though.

Instead, she presents it… with a bang.  There’s a fake detonator and marshmallows rain upon the kids.  Gordon bellows the name of the ingredient, in case the kids can’t tell as the duck and cover.  Honestly, I hate marshmallows more than anything, but watching the scene was hilarious.

Out of 22 cooking kids, we only see these 8:


R to L, T to B: Addison, Sam, Alexander, Kade, Jesse, Corey, Mia, Ian

I feel it bears repeating that I truly hate marshmallows more than anything, but some of these would even make me take a bite!  The judges award baseball cap/cupcake queen Addison, mohawk Sam, and Ramones tee Jesse the distinction of best dishes.

Alexander, Kade, and Ian are the bottom three.  Ian squeaks by to cook another day and out first two are sent packing.  Yes, it breaks my heart to see these kids go home every time.

I’m so excited to see what these kids can do with real ingredients!  And we have a lot of kids to get to know still!  Who’s watching?!  Who else loves this show?!


  1. I love MCJ as well, and was so happy to see the new season is finally here!
    I honestly couldn’t believe they began with marshmallows for their starter… I mean, marshmallows are not the easiest item to work with! However, to see them raining down on the kids was pretty cute =0)
    I think the Whoopie Pies looked best, visually.
    I’m wondering – is it just me, or did the plating abilities go down a little bit since last season? Always the optimist, I’m hoping that the marshmallows just threw these mini-chefs for a loop, and their remaining dishes will be stunning.

    1. The two who were eliminated definitely had less ability than we’ve seen before… it’s just begun, so I’m sure we’ll be impressed soon!

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