*If you’re expecting Gordon Ramsay to berate, humiliate, scream at and curse out a bunch of kids on Fox’s new “MasterChef Junior,” thankfully, you’ll be disappointed.
Premiering Friday (Sept. 27) at 8 p.m., the kiddie version of Ramsay’s “MasterChef” (formerly known as “Junior MasterChef”) will start out with a group of 24 youngins, aged 8 to 13, who will be whittled down to a Top 12 in the one-hour premiere.
Among the competitions this season are a cupcake challenge, a tag-team Beef Wellington challenge and the obligatory restaurant takeover, during which the kids will prepare a three-course menu at a celebrated fine dining restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. Along the way, they’ll be judged, coached and encouraged by Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot. Luckily for the children, their criticism never gets much harsher than, “This looks like it’s been chewed by a dog [for] dinner.”
But for fans who find “Mean Ramsay” entertaining, he doesn’t completely lay down.
“I mean, I’m brutal. I’ll get straight to the point. And the kids, I think, welcome that,” he told us at the recent TCA Summer Press Tour. “We weren’t wrapping them in coddle. …And, listen, when it was bad, they got told it was bad. But when it was good, they got told it was good.”
The last kid standing will become America’s first-ever MasterChef Junior and pocket $100,000.
Below, one of the show’s African American contestants, 11-year-old Kaylen of Culver City, Calif., tells us what it takes to be a good chef, and her favorite dish this season.
Fox’s “MasterChef Junior” premieres at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27. Watch the promo below.