This isn’t chocolate crackle territory. We’re talking goat cheese wantons with balsamic glaze, ricotta gnocchi with eggplant salsa, chicken with walnut and pomegranate broth.
The first thing that strikes you about Junior MasterChef is how much fun it is compared with the adult version.
The judges – Mehigan, Matt Preston, George Calombaris and newcomer Anna Gare – are clearly having the time of their lives.
There is a wonderful spirit between the kids – something that was sadly missing from the recent adult version of the show.
The Courier Mail’s Geoff Shearer writes:
And just like the adult version, there are tears. This time mainly of joy. One 11-year-old boy dissolves into sobs when he’s selected through to the next stage. As he snuffles in an embrace with one of the judges he mumbles, “oh, this always happens”.
There’s plenty more touching moments like that and it is so heartwarming to see these youngsters congratulating and supporting each other despite what is obviously a richly combative arena.
Holly Byrnes in the Daily Telegraph says:
At first glance the top 50 is all rosy cheeks and bouncing ponytails, squealing their arrival into the now iconic TV kitchen.
But their seriousness is captured by the earnest goal-setting of these small stars, who talk to camera like seasoned professionals.
“I plan to be cutting the ribbon on my own restaurant at Noosa by 18,” boasts Max, 12, without a hint of hubris.
There’s the Elvis-coiffed kid, Nick, who wisely pegs Gare as the series’ unknown ingredient.
“I reckon Anna’s going to be the toughest judge. We know the foods that the guys like … we don’t know what she likes.”
The show premieres 7:30pm tomorrow night on TEN.