masterchef junior press tour 'MasterChef Junior': Gordon Ramsay 'can't be really mean because we're kids!' says contestantOne of the new FOX shows this fall is “MasterChef Junior,” which features chefs ages eight to 13 stepping into the “MasterChef” kitchen to compete just like the adults do. Lest you worry about how notoriously prickly judge Gordon Ramsay will do with the children, contestant Sarah (pictured above) assures us — “He can’t be really mean because we’re kids!”

But Ramsay also says that they weren’t pulling any punches, either.

“This is a competition searching for some of the best talent in this country. I think pressure
is healthy and it’s no different to a coaching session … Of course you
vary the level of pressure in accordance with the talent you’re working
with,” says Ramsay.

“I was brutally honest … the kids welcomed that. … When it was
bad, they got told it was bad. But when it was good, they got told it
was good. The most exciting thing about ‘MasterChef Junior’ was the
journey,” Ramsay adds. “But honestly, you’re going to see
some talent that is going to be eye-opening.”

Since the talent is so extraordinary, they weren’t afraid to put the children into challenges that were just as hard as the adult version of the show.

“The challenges were just as invigorating. The whole team took on a
restaurant,” says Ramsay. “We had our hearts in our mouth getting a fine dining
restaurant to hand over their restaurant for a night. … The guests of
that evening got a chance to meet the chefs and when this array of
talent came out of the kitchen, I’ve never seen customers in such floods
of tears because they could not believe eight- to 13-year-olds had just
cooked such a phenomenal lunch.”

“MasterChef Junior” premieres Friday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX. Meet the 24 kid cheftestants here.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."