Almost 2,000 aspiring young cooks aged 9-14 from right around the country applied to follow their food dreams and become part of Junior MasterChef Australia 2020.
A talented final crop auditioned in front of judges Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen before the Top 14 talented tiny chefs-in-the-making were selected and handed their coveted aprons, walking through the famous doors to take their places in the competition.
Having grown up watching their idols in the very same MasterChef kitchen, it’s now their turn to fire up the ovens, get their pots and pans, and race to the pantry to create the most inventive, incredible and delicious dishes they have ever cooked to impress the judges and special guest chefs alike.
Let’s meet the Top 14 contestants.
Ben, 10, VIC.
Ben’s love for cooking comes from his love of eating what he’s cooked at the end. He loves learning all about new cuisines and his favourite cuisine to eat is Asian because of all of the different dishes and flavour combinations. With a love of cooking savoury foods, Ben will often whip up dinner for his family.
Carter, 12, NSW.
Carter started cooking with his parents, but grew to love it even more when cooking with his grandparents. He also credits watching lots of cooking shows with further stoking his love of being in the kitchen, along with experimenting with lots of concoctions.
Dev, 13, VIC.
Born in Australia to Indian parents, Dev’s first love is making curries, but he has developed into a great all-rounder, also loving Italian cuisine and making technical desserts inspired by Heston Blumenthal.
Etka, 13, VIC.
Etka began cooking at age four when he got his own little pan and spoon. He enjoys having cook offs with his sisters with his mum and dad as judges. With a love of Turkish cuisine, Etka also has a passion for Indian and Thai cuisine, having lived in Thailand for a year.
Filo, 12, VIC.
Growing up in Egypt, Filo moved to Australia when he was eight and has always been surrounded by food and cooks – it’s in his blood. He was first inspired to cook after spending time with his grandfather in Egypt, from about age five. He has also learnt from both his parents who are restaurateurs.
Georgia, 11, VIC.
Georgia’s love of cooking began at around the age of three, learning a lot from her mum. Her Sri Lankan grandmother has also been a huge influence on her cooking, having taught her how to make authentic curries. Georgia also loves making sweet creations, despite not really having much of a sweet tooth herself.
Laura, 13, QLD.
Having grown up with her mum teaching her how to bake and follow recipes and learning more freestyle kitchen skills from her dad, Laura says that watching MasterChef Australia over the years has also inspired her. Laura
loves to eat all types of cuisines, with Japanese, Italian, Thai, Indian and French amongst her favourites.
Phenix, 11, NSW.
To say cooking is in Phenix’s blood would be an understatement. Her dad is a trained chef and her mum owns a Vietnamese café. Her grandparents are also chefs and cooks here in Australia, and many of her aunties and uncles in Vietnam own bakeries and restaurants. Make no mistake, Phenix absolutely plans to follow in her family’s footsteps.
Porsha, 11, QLD.
A confident cook, Porsha has been cooking since she was around four-years old, encouraged by her parents and grandparents, the latter who were in fact a chef and cookbook author.
Ruby, 11, WA.
Ruby started cooking at just age four and regularly uses her pocket money to buy kitchen equipment, even claiming her very own equipment drawer in the kitchen. Having learnt the basics from her mum and dad, Ruby has also taught herself a lot from YouTube and a heap of practice.
Ryan, 11, SA.
No stranger to the MasterChef Kitchen, Ryan has been here before when his Dad, Sashi, won MasterChef Australia Season 10 in 2018. Ryan has inherited his love of cooking from his dad who has taught him everything he knows in the kitchen. Ryan loves to make pasta, but he also loves eating and cooking Indian and Malaysian food.
Salvo, 13, WA.
Born in Italy and moving to Australia at age five, Salvo is here to make his family proud and showcase his Italian heritage through his cooking. Taught to cook by his mum, Salvo says his love of cooking comes from making people proud and happy just by cooking something simple.
Tiffany, 14, QLD.
Tiffany excels at cooking desserts and dreams of hosting a cooking show for kids, and one day even opening her own restaurant. Tiffany grew up around food as her parents used to have a market stall selling Hungarian Lángos.
Vienna, 13, VIC.
Having been taught to cook by her mum and grandma, Vienna says her love of cooking comes from inventing combinations in the kitchen and being creative. First taught to bake at age five, these days Vienna usually bakes several times a week and often cooks dinner for her family.
So there you have it. Expect surprises, laugher, amazing food and a whole lot of fun as this adventure sees one exceptional cook crowned Australia’s Junior MasterChef 2020, taking home a huge $25,000 in prize money.
Junior MasterChef Australia. Premieres Sunday, 11 October At 7.30pm On Network 10