Two weeks ago, the return of FOX’s MasterChef brought tons of pint-sized chefs that can cook way, way better than most adults back to the airwaves. Considering Houston’s culinary chops, it’s not surprising that two Houston-area kids will be vying for the coveted title of MasterChef Junior.
Last week, MasterChef whittled the lengthy list of competitors down to just 20, which pitted groups of four kids grouped by region against each other in quick challenges. Texas was its own region, with all four competitors hailing from Houston. Their task? Cooking a killer steak, of course. With only two of those fancy aprons up for grabs, the group’s winners already look like formidable competition.
First up was Shayne, a 13 year old from Spring who describes himself as “200% Texas” and a “meat guy” with plenty of experience cooking up steak, which probably set him up for success later in the challenge. With his big personality, “Shayne The Train” sailed through the first round with his mushroom & onion-topped Cajun ribeye served with mashed potatoes.
Also joining Shayne among the finalists is Solomon, a 10 year old trumpet player and hobbyist gardener who wants to be a chef when he grows up. “Cooking is a passion — it’s art, it’s culture, it’s life,” said Solomon on the show, which means that he’s already talking like a chef. Solomon’s ribeye served with cheese grits, asparagus, and grilled peaches was a hit with the judges, and he easily sailed through this round of cuts.
If you’re dying to root for Houston’s youngest chefs, MasterChef airs on Thursdays at 7 p.m.