Forget fairy bread, let’s talk duck liver pâté.

We all know how much I love Masterchef and it comes to no surprise I have been avidly following the first ever season of Junior Masterchef. I have been blown away at the high-caliber of talent showcased by these pint-sized Masterchefs. These eight to twelve year old kids know more culinary terms and have more cooking technical skills than I ever did at that age. When I was their age the only thing I could make was 2 minute noodles.

Tonight’s episode saw the elimination of four more members of the final eight. The final scenes of this episode in which the finalists were announced truly tugged at the heartstrings. Isabella, 12, a consistent strong performer of the competition was overwhelmed with emotion when announced she was in the final four. Together with her twin sister Sofia, she will battle it out with Jack, 13, and Siena, 9, in the finals of the competition to become the first Australian Junior Masterchef.

Overwhelmed with emotion: Isabella

A special mention goes to 9 year old, cute-as-a-button, Siena. She is my favourite of all the contestants and is probably considered one of the underdogs. Oh my gosh, isn’t she the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? As sweet and cherubic she may look, don’t be fooled by this cutie. She may sport pigtails and have dimples that could make anyone go “awwwwww…” but she has just as much, if not more cooking talent to give anyone twice her age a run for their money. Sunday’s episode is but one of the many examples of her undeniable cooking abilities.

Junior Masterchef contestant: 9 year old Siena

This Invention test challenged the budding mini chefs to prepare a main course meal using pheasant. The ever-so-darling Siena chose to make Pheasant à l’orange with Caramelised Figs and Watercress. The pheasant was stuffed with breadcrumbs, cranberries, pistachios, orange juice and butter. Just reading that makes my mouth water (see below).

Pheasant a l'orange with caramelised figs and watercress

With a fantastic dish that looks like that, it was no wonder little Siena won this challenge, and as a result, her victory secured her a spot in the finals. Well done, Siena! Here’s to hoping you go all the way.

It’s an enigma that these kids can have so much knowledge and skill in food at such a tender age, and on top of this, show such maturity, humility and integrity. Observing them cooking away at their benches and watching their commentary in between shots astounds me and I can’t help but think these kids are little prodigies. There’s no way those tiny little bodies can create Michelin-star quality food.

But this is reality, foodies, and if I ever have kids in the future, I hope they have half as much talent as these kids do.

To read my previous posts about Masterchef click here.


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