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Hide Your Kids: Here Comes Junior MasterChef America

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Photo: Junior MasterChef Australia/Facebook

A new casting call seeks extremely young cooks for what appears to be the American debut of the show Junior MasterChef, an outgrowth of the show MasterChef that has already aired in several countries including the UK and Thailand. Blogger and MasterChef casting food judge Lucy Lean put out the word yesterday, seeking "kids who can cook and are between the ages of 8 and 13 years old." The announcement is especially geared for those whose child "has knife skills to match the professionals." In case you're worried that a kids version of the insanely competitive and stressful show, which is hosted by chef-shouter Gordon Ramsay, might be hard on the pre-puberty set, don't despair: it will be. "Now is the time to bring out that inner pushy stage mum and help your kid try out for Junior Masterchef," says the casting call.

Bravo announced plans for Top Chef Junior in 2008, which didn't happen, but at least that was for mature, venerable chefs aged 13 to 16. Eight year olds, for the record, aren't allowed to write with pens yet. See below for the full text from the casting call, and good luck to all the ambitious, knife-wielding tweens out there.

The casting call:

Calling all chefs of the future – kids who can cook and are between the ages of 8 and 13 years old. Yes you read that correctly – I am looking for children who must be over 8 and not turn 14 before April 26th, 2013, who have a passion for cooking and think they are good enough to be America's first ever Junior MasterChef. [Leave a comment below saying you are interested, DON'T leave the name of the child or any contact details in the actual comment and I will contact you directly via email.]

Perhaps you know a kid who regularly cooks dinner for her family, or your nephew dreams of one day working in a Michelin-starred restaurant or your child has knife skills to match the professionals? Now's the time to bring out that inner pushy stage mum and help your kid try out for Junior Masterchef. Not sure how good they have to be? Let's just say we aren't looking for the kid who makes the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We want kids who can whip up more than a batch of cookies from a log of store bought cookie dough. They will have knife skills and be really comfortable in the kitchen, they will sail through a mystery box challenge without breaking a sweat, will understand how to season and won't be intimidated when quizzed them on the doneness of their soft boiled egg or the sear on their scallops.

Take a look at the video of the Junior Masterchef Australia- note how confident Pierre is as he describes his dishes, chooses the ingredients and then cooks his herb crusted lamb with stuffed mushrooms and beans to perfection.


Finding contestants who are aged between 8 and 13 for Junior Masterchef brings a new way of doing things for the casting team – rather than bringing a dish to an open call we want the children to show us their cooking skills, we want to listen to them talking about what they like to cook and about their inspirations and we want to get the best out of the kids in a safe and fun environment.

If you think your child or someone you know has what it takes to try out for the show please contact me asap by leaving a comment below that you are interested and I will then reply to you directly via email (NB. Don't enter your email address or your child's name in the public comment for everyone to read!).

I will do everything I can to help you get your little one a step closer to that title of America's first Junior Masterchef.

· Chefs of The Future - Junior MasterChef [Ladles and Jellyspoons]
· Death to Society: Bravo Announces Top Chef for Tweens [-E-]
· All Coverage of MasterChef on Eater [-E-]