Meet the Newest Bite-Sized Batch of Home Cooks on the Season Premiere of “Masterchef Junior” Thursday, February

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.

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

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