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[12/19/16 - 10:32 AM]
Meet the Newest Bite-Sized Batch of Home Cooks on the Season Premiere of "MasterChef Junior" Thursday, February 9, on FOX
After a nationwide search, 40 of the best junior home cooks between the ages of eight and 13 have been chosen for their final test - a culinary battle in front of Chefs Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi.

[via press release from FOX]

MEET THE NEWEST BITE-SIZED BATCH OF HOME COOKS ON THE SEASON PREMIERE OF "MASTERCHEF JUNIOR" THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, ON FOX

40 Talented Junior Home Cooks from Across the Country Enter the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Kitchen to Compete for A Coveted Spot in the Top 20

The kids are back for Season Five of the hit culinary competition series MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, premiering Thursday, Feb. 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Judges Chef Gordon Ramsay and Chef Christina Tosi welcome the latest crop of junior home cooks to the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR kitchen, where they will compete for the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR trophy and the $100,000 grand prize.

After a nationwide search, 40 of the best junior home cooks between the ages of eight and thirteen have been chosen for their final test - a culinary battle in the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR kitchen in front of Chefs Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi. Only the 20 best chef-testants who prove they have the chops to take home the trophy will move forward and earn a MASTERCHEF JUNIOR white apron.

This season, the kids will face exciting challenges, including completing a challenge from First Lady Michelle Obama; cooking a meal for more than 50 first responders; MASTERCHEF JUNIOR's first-ever vegan challenge, from guest judge Mayim Bialik ("The Big Bang Theory"); and cooking for other VIPs, including Julie Bowen ("Modern Family") and Muppets "Miss Piggy" and "Swedish Chef," until one talented kid is named America's next MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, taking home the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR trophy and $100,000 grand prize.

In the season premiere episode, "The Quest for an Apron Part 1," 40 junior home cooks come to Los Angeles ready to compete for a MASTERCHEF JUNIOR apron. In each culinary showdown, four chefs receive a unique challenge - from steak, to scallops to cupcakes. Two lucky winners from each group earn an apron and a chance to move on, while two head back home. The competition is tougher than ever as Gordon and Christina separate the best junior chefs from all the rest. All Top 20 contestants will be revealed in the following episode, "The Quest for an Apron Part 2," airing Thursday, Feb. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Meet the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Top 40 and find out their signature dishes:

Adam Age: 12 Hometown: Sacramento, CA Signature Dish: Chicken Kiev with Parmesan Potatoes and Asparagus

Afnan Age: 12 Hometown: Jonesboro, GA Signature Dish: Surf and Turf with Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes

Anna Age: 11 Hometown: Houston, TX Signature Dish: Buffalo Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Avani Age: 8 Hometown: Chicago, IL Signature Dish: Coconut Curry Chicken Over Jasmine Rice

Barbara Age: 9 Hometown: Staten Island, NY Signature Dish: Fried Plantains with Columbian Cheese

Charlie Age: 9 Hometown: Chicago, IL Signature Dish: Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Cole Age: 9 Hometown: Grand Junction, CO Signature Dish: Smoked Pulled Pork with Peach Barbecue Sauce

Cooper Age: 10 Hometown: Douglas, GA Signature Dish: Swiss Chard Wrapped Salmon with Rice Curry

Cydney Age: 10 Hometown: Brooklyn, NY Signature Dish: Roasted Lamb Chops with a Mint and Lemon Marinade and Roasted Potatoes

Donovan Age: 9 Hometown: Brooklyn, NY Signature Dish: Vegetable Stir Fry with Squid

Dredyan Age: 9 Hometown: Brooklyn, NY Signature Dish: Oven Baked Atlantic Salmon with Fettuccine and Cream Sauce

Eddie Age: 9 Hometown: New York, NY Signature Dish: Spaghetti with Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

Elisabeth Age: 9 Hometown: Sweetwater, TX Signature Dish: Chicken Alfredo

Emma Age: 12 Hometown: Boston, MA Signature Dish: Chicken Meu'niere with Tomato, Parsley and Caper Sauce

Evan Age: 10 Hometown: Chicago, IL Signature Dish: Hickory-Smoked Pork Belly

Gonzalo Age: 11 Hometown: Whitestone, NY Signature Dish: Causa Rellena de Pollo

Grace Age: 8 Hometown: San Diego, CA Signature Dish: Smoked Salmon Dip

Hayley Age: 11 Hometown: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA Signature Dish: Poached Salmon with Spaghetti Squash and Salmon

Jake Age: 11 Hometown: Bellingham, MA Signature Dish: Roasted Vegetable Panini with Squash, Peppers, Onions and Mushrooms

Jasmine Age: 11 Hometown: Milton, GA Signature Dish: Oven-Baked Meatballs with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Jayda Age: 8 Hometown: Leominster, MA Signature Dish: Steak Tips and Green Beans with Mashed Potatoes

Jazzy Age: 12 Hometown: Charlotte, NC Signature Dish: Homemade Ravioli with Pumpkin Spice Puree and Alfredo Sauce

Justise Age: 11 Hometown: Sugar Hill, GA Signature Dish: Grilled Steak with Homemade French Fries

Kaitlyn Age: 11 Hometown: Blauvelt, NY Signature Dish: Mofongo

Kamryn Age: 11 Hometown: Saginaw, MI Signature Dish: Garlic Shrimp in White Sauce Over Pasta with Garlic Bread

Liani Age: 10 Hometown: San Antonio, TX Signature Dish: Carne Asada Tacos with Guacamole

Lila Age: 9 Hometown: Rockport, MA Signature Dish: Fresh Pasta with Homemade Marinara Sauce and Crostini

Logan Age: 10 Hometown: Evanston, IL Signature Dish: Fish Sticks with Panko Breadcrumbs and Hand Cut Fries

Londyn Age: 9 Hometown: Atlanta, GA Signature Dish: Vegetarian Lasagna

Madyson Age: 9 Hometown: Temecula, CA Signature Dish: Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Sautéed Vegetables

Mark Age: 13 Hometown: Starkville, MS Signature Dish: Chicken Pot Pie with Homemade Stock

Mashu Age: 13 Hometown: Thousand Oaks, CA Signature Dish: Homemade Egg Ravioli

Na'Imah Age: 10 Hometown: Chicago, IL Signature Dish: Red Velvet Cupcakes

Nicholas Age: 9 Hometown: Cypress, TX Signature Dish: Shrimp Scampi

Peyton Age: 10 Hometown: Ringoes, NJ Signature Dish: Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

Sam Age: 9 Hometown: Concord, MA Signature Dish: Chocolate Cake with Homemade Hot Fudge and Mint Whipped Cream

Samuel Age: 10 Hometown: Brentwood, TN Signature Dish: Grilled Chicken with Roasted Broccoli and Mashed Potatoes

Shayne Age: 13 Hometown: Spring, TX Signature Dish: Parmesan Chicken Tenders

Soloman Age: 10 Hometown: Houston, TX Signature Dish: Smoked Salmon with Lemon Grass Kale

Sydney Age: 9 Hometown: West Bend, WI Signature Dish: Angel Hair Pasta with Onion and Green Pepper Marinara

MASTERCHEF is produced by Endemol Shine North America and One Potato Two Potato, and is based on a format created by Franc Roddam and Endemol Shine. Elisabeth Murdoch, Eden Gaha, Robin Ashbrook, Gordon Ramsay, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers. "Like" MASTERCHEF JUNIOR on Facebook at facebook.com/MasterChefJuniorFOX. Follow the series on Twitter @MasterChefJfFOX and join the discussion with #MasterChefJunior. Follow the judges on Twitter: Gordon Ramsay - @gordonramsay; and Christina Tosi - @christinatosi.

ABOUT ONE POTATO TWO POTATO

Renowned for award-winning original programming, One Potato Two Potato produces high-quality TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including the smash-hit HOTEL HELL, the blockbuster MASTERCHEF and irresistible spin-off MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, all for FOX; as well as "Best New Restaurant" and competition series "Food Court Wars." In the U.K., OPTP produces "Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars" and "Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape," for Channel 4; food biography and nostalgia series "My Kitchen," for UKTV's Good Food Channel; and "Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch," starring Tilly Ramsay for U.K. children's channel CBBC. OPTP has also produced two instructional cookery series featuring Gordon Ramsay, "Ultimate Home Cooking" and "Ultimate Cookery Course," both of which have sold all over the globe.

ABOUT GORDON RAMSAY

Renowned for highly successful and award-winning original programming, multi-Michelin star chef Gordon Ramsay produces TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic seen by audiences worldwide, including his current FOX shows, HOTEL HELL, MASTERCHEF, MASTERCHEF JUNIOR and MASTERCHEF CELEBRITY SHOWDOWN, as well as FOX's upcoming THE F WORD; Bravo's "Best New Restaurant"; and Food Network's competition series, "Food Court Wars." In the U.K., he's produced "Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars" and "Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape" for Channel 4; food biography and nostalgia series "My Kitchen" for UKTV's Good Food Channel; two instructional cookery series, "Ultimate Home Cooking" and "Ultimate Cookery Course" for Channel 4; and the first two seasons of "Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch," starring Tilly Ramsay, for U.K. children's channel CBBC, all under his One Potato Two Potato banner. His next generation multi-media production company, STUDIO RAMSAY, has a joint venture with All3Media to develop and produce both unscripted and scripted television shows, creating new formats and innovative programing, that includes a scripted arm focused on food-related themes, and development of new talent on a global front. The catalogue of programs that Ramsay has worked on historically with All3Media, via One Potato Two Potato, together with new original content he's currently developing, make for a unique and dynamic production and distribution partnership.

ABOUT ENDEMOL SHINE NORTH AMERICA

Endemol Shine North America delivers world-class content and compelling storytelling to multiple platforms in the U.S. and across the globe. Endemol Shine North America is part of Endemol Shine Group, the global content creator, producer and distributor with a diverse portfolio of companies that are behind some of the most prominent hit television formats and series in the world. Its Endemol Shine Studios division develops and produces original scripted television programming in the U.S. for global exploitation and Endemol Shine Latino oversees all Spanish-language sales and development in both the U.S. and now across all of Latin America. Subsidiary production companies include Authentic Entertainment, Original Media, True Entertainment and 51 Minds Entertainment. In addition, Endemol Shine North America has a strategic partnership with Ryan Seacrest Productions. Endemol Shine Group's companies in North America are behind such hit series as "Big Brother" (CBS), "The Biggest Loser" (NBC), "Hell on Wheels" (AMC), "Ink Master" (Spike), "Kingdom" (AT&T Audience Network), MASTERCHEF (FOX), MASTERCHEF JUNIOR (FOX), "Swamp People" (History), "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" (Bravo), "Steve Harvey" (NBCU), "T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle" (VH1), "Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge" (CMT), "Billion Dollar Buyer" (CNBC) and upcoming "Page Six TV" (Syndicated) "Hunted" (CBS), SUPERHUMAN (FOX) and "I'm Dying Up Here" (Showtime).





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· MASTERCHEF JUNIOR (FOX)





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