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    Contestants

    • Abby

      Abby

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      My favorite meal to cook is spaghetti carbonara. It is a really easy dish to cook and we always have the ingredients handy.

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      Anything with homemade pasta. It is very hard for me to knead the dough.

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      Steamed clams!

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      I like using the rasp grader.

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      My Mom. She always makes cooking fun and it always tastes great!

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I hope other kids see me cook and get excited to try it too!
    • Adaiah

      Adaiah

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      My favorite dish to make is Japanese Ramen. I love how versatile the flavor combinations are when it comes to toppings. It's also a really great experience hand pulling noodles!

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      It would have to be a croquembouche.  Stacking the choux and making the perfect caramel at the "Hard Ball" stage is always a challenge.

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      Pan Seared Grouper with Bahamian Peas and Rice.

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      I absolutely love the whisk! It's required in a lot of French dishes when preparing sauces and can be used almost all the time in baking. It's probably the most important tool in kitchen.

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      My mom and dad encourage creativity in my siblings and me, which drives me to try new things.  Cooking allows me to express my creativity in so many ways. I love putting twists on classic dishes and making them my own. 

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      The thing I hope to inspire people with my cooking is that you can do anything you put your mind to and that you are never too young to do what you love.
    • Berry

      Berry

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      My favorite meal to cook is mushroom risotto because it is the first thing that I learned to cook with my cooking teacher.

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      The hardest thing for me to cook is meat, because it is hard to get it perfectly cooked without using a meat thermometer.

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      My favorite thing to eat is “cheung fun” from Hong Kong. It is a thin roll made from a wide strip of rice noodles, filled with shrimp, pork, beef, vegetables, or other ingredients.

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      My favorite kitchen tool is my knife because I enjoy practicing my knife skills.

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      My whole family is terrible at cooking and I enjoy good food so I decided to start cooking

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      In most restaurants kids menus are the same, I hope my cooking will inspire kids to try different food that is healthy. I also hope that one day the kid's menu will be the regular menu, just in smaller portions.
    • Coco

      Coco

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      I love to make crème brûlée mostly because it is super cool to use the kitchen torch but also it looks really pretty when it is done and everybody thinks it is way fancy. I sometimes change it up and add chocolate and burn marshmallows on top for hot chocolate crème brûlée...yum!!!!

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      My granny's jam cake is by the hardest thing I make. The cake itself is tricky to get to rise and the caramelized sugar for the icing has to be cooked to exactly the right temperature.  It is so worth it though!

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      Probably fish tacos made from freshly caught bass from one of the ponds on our ranch.   We do the tacos with fried fish topped with jalapeno cilantro slaw and remoulade. Makes me hungry just thinking about it!

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      Definitely a cast iron skillet.   You can make everything from cornbread to chicken fried deer steak to cream gravy in it. This is the most used item in our kitchen at home. 

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      Definitely comes from my granny. She drives me to be creative because we live waaaaayyyy out in the country. You can't just run to the grocery store so we have to come up with some pretty creative ways to feed a lot of hungry ranch boys with what we have in the pantry. We come up with some crazy stuff sometimes!!

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I hope my cooking will inspire others by showing them that anybody can get in the kitchen and cook whether they are 8 or 80.  Recipes are all over the place.  Even if you don't have a recipe, it's fun to experiment!
    • Isabella

      Isabella

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      I like to cook Gnocchi or Penne pasta with my favorite sauce, Vodka Sauce! I like to make this dish because of the simplicity of it and because it's very delicious.

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      The hardest thing to cook for me is probably a layered cake just because time management isn't always my friend. 

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      My favorite meal to eat is probably octopus salad. I just love cilantro and tomato together it is one of my favorite combos.

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      My favorite kitchen tool is probably a pan. The way I can toss and turn and flip it around makes me feel so in control and it's really fun too! 

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      I'd say Gordon Ramsay drives me to be so creative with food. He's one of my all-time favorite chefs and I truly admire him. When I met him I was so star struck and very nervous. Although he seems hot-tempered, he's actually really nice and polite!

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I hope my cooking on the show will inspire kids to start cooking. Although it seems difficult, it's fun and really easy. I get to be unique and add my own flair to my flavor.
    • Jessica

      Jessica

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      Pasta. I like to make my own dough and get messy.

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      Divinity. If you don't get it right, it just won't come together. 

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      Meatloaf with mashed potatoes, brown gravy and steamed vegetables.

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      Stand mixer. I use it all the time!

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      My mother.

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I hope that my cooking will inspire others to be creative with their own foods. 
    • Josh

      Josh

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      I love making and eating comfort food-inspired dishes. My favorite meal to cook is probably my braised short ribs with mashed potatoes, wilted spinach and braised pearl onions. This dish shows so much technique and layers of flavors to everybody that eats it. It shows how you can turn a really inexpensive cut of beef into an almost flawless dish. It's also great in the Fall weather.

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      Not really a particular dish that is hard for me to make, but I really find it hard to cook under pressure. Especially cooking for the judges, you had to focus. If I were to pick something hard to cook, it would be candy, I failed three times, burning the sugar, or the batter was too runny. It's hard to find a foolproof candy recipe.

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      Nothing could beat a great sushi selection. I have been eating sushi ever since I was about 6 months old. My other favorite is oysters. My favorite oyster is called the cupcake. I also love the Canard A L'orange from Balthazar, the Duck is rich, but not too fatty. The orange sauce complements the Duck breast which makes one hearty dish

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      Almost nothing can be done without a chef's knife or a paring knife, also a skillet pan. But my all-time favorite is my thin metal spatula. It can lift weight without being too heavy itself. It has a firm grip and gives so much leverage. I can flip salmon, burgers, pancakes, and even dumplings.

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      I think I'm so creative with food because of my passion for food - I really love to eat! I like to get ideas from cookbooks and videos and cooking shows. I'm interested in meals using local ingredients. I like learning about the origin of dishes. I think that the fact that some kids can't and won't even try making a roast chicken drives me to be where I am now. I want to be different from others and show rare talents.

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I want to boost people's confidence, not just kids. I want people to know that driving a car and walking to school or work, has the same, if not more, intensity than making even the simplest of any dishes out there. Sometimes it seems like magic but it makes you feel great when a dish comes together.
    • Levi

      Levi

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      My favorite meal to cook is a New York Strip Steak with a Red Wine Reduction and Crispy Dijon Glazed Brussel Sprouts. This is my favorite meal to cook because I love the complexity of reducing the wine and herbs to make a beautiful sauce to marinate the steak.

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      The hardest thing for me to bake is éclairs. For me, it's hard to get the perfect amount of filling inside and outside of them.

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      My favorite meal to eat is whole steamed Maryland Chesapeake Bay Crabs covered in Old bay seasoning.

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      My favorite kitchen tool is definitely my stand mixer. It really does the best job with desserts. There is no comparison to a hand mixer!

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      What drives me to be so creative with the food I make is all the famous chefs out there. Especially Gordon Ramsay. Seeing all the amazing food he makes inspires me to do even better!

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I hope that my cooking shows others that making food can actually be fun, creative, and entertaining.
    • Logan

      Logan

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      I guess my favorite meal to cook is whatever new idea I have or food I want to learn to cook. Now it is BBQ smoked pork with Alabama white sauce, red sauce, and slaw. I am just learning, so it is fun and creative.

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      The hardest thing I cook is seafood! My Mom is allergic to most of it, so she has no knowledge to share me on how to prepare or cook seafood. However, we found some great teachers, but it is hard to cook a food that she can't even be in the house when I cook it. Still, it is my favorite thing to cook and eat.

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      My favorite meal is sushi. I love Japanese food it is so clean and well prepared. I am lucky we have good sushi in the middle of the country being so far from the ocean.

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      Metzaluna, but now it is a sharp knife. If you have a good knife, you can do anything.

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      I love food. It never goes out of style. It brings people together. I love all the new things you can learn and try. Since food is so ingrained in us, why not be the best like Chef Ramsay, Chef Bastianich or Chef Elliot!

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I hope people get inspired to just try. My passion for food has taken me to amazing places and I have met extraordinary people all because I am willing to try. Be a food explorer today.
    • Mitchell

      Mitchell

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      My favorite meal to cook is anything with pan seared scallops. I picked scallops because if they're cooked to perfection, they're amazing!

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      The hardest thing for me to cook is probably basic foods. For example, I'm no expert with ground beef, unless it's a great burger! I like to get really creative with food!!

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      My favorite meal really depends on the time of year, the weather, and lots of things. Sometimes I love sushi, sometimes I like soup. I love a great burger and the perfect pasta dish.

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      I really enjoy using a mandolin because when you're plating you can slice whatever you need exactly the way you want it. I also really like a great mincing knife because you can do so much with it.

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      I started cooking because I wanted to know exactly what is in the food I'm eating. I'm an athlete so that's really important. Once I started learning the possibilities that food have, I loved it!

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I hope that my cooking will inspire people to eat healthier and care about what they put in their bodies.
    • Nasir

      Nasir

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      Fish and rice is my favorite meal to cook because I love the flavor of all fish and there is so much you can do with it.

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      I think the hardest thing I ever cooked was chicken because you have to cook it perfectly or you can very, very sick.

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      I love a wonderful medium rare burger with cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes.

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      I love cooking with my torch. It makes my meal seem extra special.

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      My stomach, aka Herman, drives all my food related decisions

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I hope that my cooking will inspire other kids to try to cook something that they thought was hard to make.
    • Natalie

      Natalie

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      I enjoy cooking Grilled Salmon with corn, baby tomatoes and asparagus because is not just really fast to make but is also very healthy and everyone that tried my recipe seems to love it. I get a lot of requests for that!

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      For me the hardest thing to do is baking in general because I like to cook fast and also experiment and with baking you can't do either. You must follow the exact measurements and every oven seems to have their own temperature.

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      My favorite meal to eat is Steak. I love the weekends because I like to eat out and my favorite restaurants are steakhouses. I also enjoy Romaine lettuce in any way - wedge salad, lettuce wraps, Greek Salad - any salad that has Romaine Lettuce.

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      My favorite kitchen tool is the electric mixer because is like having an assistant helping you mix while you do other things.

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      My drive and motivation to cook comes from my love for food I enjoy. Since I can remember, I always enjoyed watching my mom cook and I always wanted to grow up so I can make my own creations. I was very excited the first time I ever cooked something all by myself. It was cheese enchiladas.

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I really hope my cooking will inspire other people but mainly adults and cooking schools because it is really frustrating that no schools wants to admit kids and parents get afraid to let their children get close to the stove or use real knives.  I want people to be able to see that we are smart and talented. One day I will be the youngest chef that owns a restaurant. 
    • Oona

      Oona

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      My favorite meal to cook is egg yolk-filled raviolos in a sage brown butter sauce, in which a raw egg yolk is inside the pasta, when the pasta is cut open the yolk bursts out.

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      The hardest thing I can cook is ouf ala nauge (or eggs on snow)

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      I don't have an absolute favorite meal but one of the best meals I've had was a scallop crudo taco were the shell of the taco was a shiso leaf.

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      My favorite kitchen gadget is my bean frencher which splits and removes the string of a green bean or splits a vanilla bean. It's just really fun!

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      My parents really inspire me in the culinary arts. They cook and are role models for me.

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I hope one day people will taste my food and say WOW.
    • Sam

      Sam

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      I love to make steak with mashed potatoes, arugula and a creamy white sauce because all the flavors complement each other.  And all the colors together make an elegant dish.

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      The hardest thing for me to make is challah bread because it seems that I can never get it perfectly soft on the inside and hard and crusty on the outside.

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      My favorite meal to eat is a rainbow roll because I love the taste of all of the different fish on the roll and I like the look of the different colors on the roll.

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      One of my favorite kitchen tools is a stand mixer because I can make the perfect Swiss buttercream in it and without it the buttercream would deflate.

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      I love art so I love to incorporate my artistic visions with food!  What also drives me to be creative with food is watching professional chefs cook which encourages me to make all kinds of food from different cultures with different complex tastes.

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I hope my cooking inspires other kids to start cooking because I think it's a great passion to have, kids and adults!
    • Samuel

      Samuel

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      When I am trying to impress, I usually like to go for a four course tasting menu; but weeknight family meals are a strong point too. For a simple and quick dish, I make pressure-cooked mushroom and pea risotto with crispy seared salmon and frisee salad. 

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      The hardest things to cook for me are macaroons because the weather in Marin can be erratic and can get humid really fast which can ruin the macaroons.

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      I love Thyme Chicken Cacciatore over Whole Wheat Pappardelle with a Crispy Skin Chip. The flavors remind me of home and the dish is very comforting on a cold winter night.

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      My favorite kitchen tool is an immersion blender because it can be used spur-of-the moment, whereas a blender takes marginally longer to set up and clean up.

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. What or who drives you to be so creative with food?

      What drives me to be creative with food is that there are endless flavors and flavor combinations. There is always something new out there, and to find it is a joy in and of itself.

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I hope to inspire others with my cooking by teaching new techniques and new flavors to anyone who hasn't had them before. I want to share what my cooking can truly taste like.
    • Sean

      Sean

      1. What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

      My favorite meal to cook is a modernist yet classic style consisting of duck confit taco, sou vide rib eye, and Panna cotta. 

      2. What is the hardest thing for you to cook and why?

      The most difficult thing for me to cook is raviolis. They burst open in the water! 

      3. What is your favorite meal to eat?

      My favorite thing to eat is prime rib at a Vegas buffet. 

      4. What is your favorite kitchen tool and why?

      My favorite gadget to use in the kitchen is a bench scraper. 

      5.  Most kids your age can barely make themselves a sandwich. Who or what drives you to be so creative with food?

      Being able to make people happy eating my food drives me to be creative with my food. 

      6. How do you hope your cooking will inspire others?

      I hope that my cooking inspires everybody at any age to have the same happy feeling I get to serve people.