It started out with 12 kids from around the country, and 12-year-old Adaiah has made it into the Top 4. From her delicious blood orange lemon pie with raspberries to her short struggle with filet mignons in the pop-up kitchen, the quiet Danbury, Connecticut native has wowed the judges in the MasterChef Junior kitchen. Adaiah dishes up what it’s really like in that kitchen, her time on the show and what she has learned along the way.
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Why did you want to be on MasterChef Junior?
I watched other cooking competitions on TV and always wondered what it would be like to be put to the test like that. When my family and I heard about MasterChef Junior, I just had to go for it!
What it’s like to make the Top 4?
It is so exciting! I feel that being in the top four is like being in the Top 2. I feel like I have definitely proven my culinary skills and now it’s about who has the best day.
What is it really like in the MasterChef kitchen?
The atmosphere is really intense. There is this element of suspense, as you wait for the next challenge. There is also this cool element of all the smells and sounds when everyone is preparing their dishes.
What is your favorite dish to prepare?
I really enjoy preparing French Macaroons. I like to infuse my own flavors and make them bite-sized!
What dish did you struggle with?
When I was preparing the steaks during the pop-up restaurant challenge, there were some things that kept me from being able to give them my full attention.
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How did you keep calm under pressure during that challenge?
At one point, I asked one of my teammates to mark some of my steaks, while I went to plate. Unfortunately, they were confused in carrying out that task. Instead of panicking, I remembered that whenever you are in a situation where you have to focus, stressing out doesn’t help at all!
What are the judges really like? Did you have a favorite?
Each of the judges were very different. I really don’t have a favorite, but I enjoyed getting positive reviews from Chef Ramsey.
Did the judges guide you during the challenges?
Not really, I just stayed focused on what I was doing.
Where there any mishaps or issues in the kitchen?
I burnt my hand during the pop-restaurant challenge, which made things even more intense.
Where do you get the ideas for the dishes?
I came up with the ideas myself. [For example] during the Shepard’s Pie challenge, I wanted to do something really different.
Who did you see as your biggest competitor?
I would have to say Sean or Levi.
What is your plan for after the show?
I plan to step out on some of my culinary goals which include: having a line of all natural and gluten-free baked goods, and creating a cooking show that will combine my passion for cooking and music.
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What will you do with the money if you win?
I would love to buy a new Taylor or Gibson Guitar and get some advice from my parents.
MasterChef Junior airs Tuesdays at 8pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of Greg Gayne / FOX)