The Telegraph
Thursday , May 31 , 2012
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Masterchef kids

It brings together two things everyone loves to love — cute kids and sumptuous food. Season One of Junior Masterchef Australia beamed into Indian homes a week and a half ago but it already has us hooked. t2 lists five reasons why you need to catch Junior Masterchef Australia (Monday to Friday at 9pm on STAR World).

1 The food: From Meatball Rolls with Tzatziki to Open Lasagne with Smoked Trout, from Clafoutis of Cherries with Mascarpone and Cherry Compote to Red Curry of Duck with Lychees and Cucumber Salsa, the eight to 12-year-olds on the show cook up a storm. On any given day, the food on display is good enough to rival the buffet spread at a star hotel. And to think that the maximum the contestants get to prepare such exotic fare is about an hour! If the dishes rustled up are a visual treat, the pantry available to the contestants is mind-boggling.

Junior Masterchef Australia judge Anna Gare

2 The kids: From poaching a pear to perfection to rustling up sushi rolls within minutes, there is so much talent on Junior Masterchef Australia. You see these kids skilfully bake, grill, skim and simmer and the thought that immediately pops into your mind is: ‘At that age, I couldn’t even boil an egg!’

And it’s the contestants who make the show what it is. If 12-year-old Pierre Khoury is the quiet one then Lucy Bonnano, 10, is the precocious kid with an answer for everything. Fraternal twins Isabella and Sofia Bliss are the contestants to beat while at just nine, Siena Johnston is the youngest of the lot. Our cute pick? Cassidy Higgins, 12.

3 The passion: They may just be in their pre-teens, but the passion and zeal on Junior Masterchef Australia is to be seen to be believed. At an age when most of us were dreaming of being a doctor one day and a drummer the next, all these kids have set their sights on becoming chefs and owning restaurants in the not-so-distant future. Some have planned what their restaurant is going to be like, what kind of food it will serve, the name, the menu and even their business card! Nick Liurence, 10, is writing his own cookbook with recipes he’s created himself. Most other kids in the contest want to have their own cooking show, be a food technologist or are working towards having their dishes printed in magazines.

4 The camaraderie: They may be competing with each other, but everyone supports everyone else. Every kid comes in with a positive spirit and a sense of sportsmanship that makes the show even more endearing.

5 The judges: The Junior Masterchef Australia judges are the best in the business. Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan bring their immense expertise from the Masterchef Australia kitchen to the junior version, always encouraging and ready with their tips. A sure-shot strategy to bring in the male audience has been the inclusion of television presenter and musician Anna Gare.

For the rest of us, just the food is enough to make us tune into Masterchef Australia night after night.

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