'MasterChef Junior' Preview: These Aren't Your Average Kid-Approved Dishes
'MasterChef Junior' Preview: These Aren't Your Average Kid-Approved Dishes
Esther Gim
Esther Gim
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
MasterChef is getting younger -- a whole lot younger. MasterChef Junior premieres Friday with chefs ranging from 8 to 13 years old. 

Don't think that because of their age, these pint-sized chefs will be preparing PB&Js and hot dogs all season long. Think beef Wellington. Think molten lava cake. Think everything but what you ate at their age. Prepare to be blown away.

There probably will be tears -- they are kids after all -- and there will be screaming, and not necessarily from Gordon Ramsay either. My favorite kid chef is the blonde girl one who screeches at another kid whisking eggs: "WHIP IT! WHIP IT LIKE A MAN!" 

There's plenty at stake too: $100,000 and possibly a three- to five-year scholarship to a culinary academy. (I'm assuming that's dependent on the chef and whether he/she will purse culinary school.) And of course, the MasterChef trophy and title of MasterChef Junior.

Here's How It Works:

The audition round consists of 24 junior home cooks, who will create their best pasta, seafood or dessert dish and present it to the judges. It's not clear how many will make it out of the audition round. But those who do will compete in challenges, including a restaurant takeover, until one kid is left standing.

In a conference call with the media, judge Joe Bastianich admitted that he was tepid at the initial pitch of the show, but the judges realized they needed to hold the junior chefs to the same level as the adult cooks. He said his expectations were met and surpassed.

He also added that the chefs will be doing everything -- from baking to making their own pasta. There isn't anything an adult cook can do that these geniuses can't.

"I think you can't lower the bar just because they're kids," Joe said. "That's what we did [set the bar high] and that's what happened. When you watch the show, you can expect to see kids reaching levels that perhaps you would think unthinkable. But they do it, and it's kind of the amazing factor of a program like this."

How the judges will interact will the children is one of the questions on everyone's minds. Judge Graham Elliot points out that all the judges have children, so they know how to work with them. But are the kids scared? Watch what they had to say:

Here's What They Spill:

- Graham is the nicest and is like a teddy bear, a Graham cracker to be specific (come on, they're children)

- Joe can seem scary but he's sweet at heart. And funny.

- The kids say Gordon can't be "that mean" to them because they're kids. One of them even calls him a softie. Gordon uses "sugar" in place of profanity.

Stay tuned to see what they create!

MasterChef Junior premieres Friday at 8pm on FOX.

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(Image courtesy of FOX)