Jimmy Talks MasterChef Junior, Wanting to Build a Restaurant Empire and Previews “Creme de la Creme” [Exclusive]
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
It’s down to the final 4 and this week’s “Creme de la Creme” looks like it’s going to take all our young chefs out of their comfort zones. I love that this challenge is all about baking, because it takes an entirely different skill set. Will we see something new? Will our chefs rise to the challenge? Which two will make it into the finale?
Last week, I had a chance to talk to Jenna, Kayla and Ayla about the competition thus far. This week, I talk to Nathan, Jimmy and Andrew about the series so far, how they’ve evolved as chefs and what to expect in this week’s episode.
TV GOODNESS: Congratulations on being part of the top 4. How does it feel to have made it this far in the competition?
Jimmy: “Thanks. It feel amazing. I didn’t even dream I would make it this far, so I’m just really grateful that I have.”
TV GOODNESS: I read that you started cooking when you were 6 by making sweet and savory pizzas with your parents. When did you realize you wanted to turn cooking into a career?
Jimmy: “Ever since I was little, I just loved being in the kitchen with my parents or even just by myself, so it was always just natural that I wanted to be a chef.”
TV GOODNESS: Did you ever think you’d be involved in a cooking competition like this and what made you try out for the show in the first place?
Jimmy: “I’ve been watching MasterChef forever and I’ve always loved cooking, so I’d always thought, ‘They should have MasterChef Kids, ’cause I would totally try out for that.’ And then they did, so it was like a miracle come true and when I saw I just had to audition. I [saw] the casting call and a few months later I was on the show.”
TV GOODNESS: What’s been your favorite challenge so far and why?
Jimmy: “Definitely one of my favorite challenges was winning theÂ meringue challenge because I got to throw a pie in Graham Elliot‘s face, but also the sushi challenge because I really loved working as a tag team with Ayla. I won that challenge, so it was really fun too.”
TV GOODNESS: That was a great challenge. It seemed like the sushi boat was difficult for a lot of people. You and Ayla were great together.
Jimmy: “Thank you.”
TV GOODNESS: The MasterChef Junior kitchen seems like a really encouraging and supportive place. Who’s been your favorite partner in team challenges?
Jimmy: “My favorite partner? Everyone I’ve worked with is really, really good so I don’t know if I can pick a favorite. The people I’ve worked with — Ayla, Kayla and Kyler — they’re all great chefs and really great friends of mine, so it’s hard to pick a favorite.”
TV GOODNESS: Which judge has given you the best piece of advice?
Jimmy: “I think Gordon has. I’ve always looked up to him and he’s really my idol, so working with him was great.”
TV GOODNESS: Last week’s “Restaurant Takeover” was a nail-biter. As it as stressful being in that kitchen and cooking as it looked like it was?
Jimmy: “I think it was more stressful in the kitchen.”
TV GOODNESS: Did you learn anything about yourself as a chef at the end of that challenge?
Jimmy: “Yeah. I realized that it’s not as easy as it looks on TV. If I wanted to be a real chef, I definitely have to put in a lot of work and training. And I think I do.”
TV GOODNESS: Let’s talk about this week’s episode “Creme de la Creme.” I know you can’t say much, but what are you allowed to tell me about the episode?
Jimmy: “It starts out as a Creme Brulee challenge. We have to torch a certain amount of Creme Brulees in a short amount of time and then some pretty awesome dishes with raspberries. That’s about it.”
TV GOODNESS: Following up on that, what’s your favorite item to bake or favorite item of dessert to make?
Jimmy: “My favorite item to bake would probably be a mini pie or tart because it’s really fun to make pies, but sometimes you don’t want to make it for 20 people so making a mini pie or part is really fun. It’s single serve and you can make a lot of them.”
TV GOODNESS: My final question is what type of restaurant would you like to have when you’re older?
Jimmy: “I want to have all sorts of restaurants all around the world, all different kinds of cuisines and I also want a cooking show like Gordon Ramsay.”
Edited for space and content.
MasterChef Junior airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on FOX.
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