Late last year, NYC restauranteur Joe Bastianich announced he was leaving Fox's culinary competition MasterChef and its pint-sized spin-off MasterChef Junior; and today, Fox has announced his replacement. Entertainment Weekly reports Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi will join both casts as the panel's third judge, joining Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot as the show's arbiters of taste. The 2012 James Beard Award winner for Rising Star Chef will first appear on season six of MasterChef, airing this summer, and will shoot MasterChef Junior's fourth season later this spring.
In a press release, Tosi says she's long been a fan of the amateur cooking competition, which features competing home cooks (instead of professional chefs). "I'm incredibly humbled by the opportunity and excited to pay forward all that I owe to learning what you're made of in the home kitchen," Tosi says. Meanwhile, famously shouty chef Ramsay has nothing but praise for Tosi, calling her one of the "most exciting, dynamic and inspirational people in food today."
This isn't Tosi's first foray into television — she's appeared on past seasons of The Mind of a Chef and done late-night demos — but judging/mentoring amateur cooks represents a new commitment to food TV. And the addition of Tosi also ups both show's pastry games: Don't be surprised if a "compost cookie" challenge hits the airwaves when either season debuts.