HOT TAKE: Master Chef Jr. Chicken and Waffles

Let’s get this out of the way before we dive into the recap – the narrator opens the episode by letting us know that the judges are going to “foam” themselves over this next challenge. EWWWW. I am sure it was meant to sound innocent but whoever wrote that line is either a) pulling off a hilarious joke because s/he lost a bet, or b) just mailed in this week’s assignment and thought “foam themselves” was appropriate. Not cool writers – this is a kid’s show! Get control of your writing room!

Now that we’ve addressed that bit of unpleasantness we can focus on Friday’s episode. On set is a humongous milkshake. The detective in me thinks we are going to be making milkshakes in a timed competition – a Master Chef Jr. challenge staple. Whoever can make the most and best milkshakes will win the challenge and be safe from tonight’s elimination. Hilariously Mikey remarks that the giant milkshake on stage is the size of his family’s minivan and I think that is pretty great unit of measurement. Does Mikey measure everything in terms on his family’s van? WOW! That building like 12 of my family’s van! You see where I am going with this. Anyway, the kids all draw straws to see what team they’re on: red, blue, or yellow. There is also the possibility of drawing a blank straw which means you will not be in the challenge and are automatically placed into the elimination round. This seems like sorta bullshit to me. If I was on that show and I drew a blank straw I would lawyer up. Why the hell do some kids, by pure chance, get an opportunity to dodge an elimination and I don’t? Is the cost of dairy just too high these days? Can the showrunners not think beyond the color boundaries of blue, red and yellow? What is going on here? I’d boycott, but the kids on this show are clearly better sports than me and accept their fate determined via straw.

With the teams settled we dive into the competition and sure enough it is a timed challenge to see which team can make the most picturesque milkshakes. Milkshakes that don’t cut the mustard will not be counted. Snap Judgement: The red team is all boys. Sammy thinks this is an advantage because boys just “get” each other and girls can be bossy in the kitchen. Sammy predicts an easy win. My prediction? No chance Sammy, no chance. I’m amazed at how young the gender biases are ingrained into kids. I’m positive I was the same way at Sammy’s age but still. I wish I could impart some knowledge on Sammy here – but it would probably fall on deaf ears. Girls stink, per Sammy.

Each team adopts a different strategy. Yellow employs an assembly line mechanic where each team member has a specific job. It may not be the fastest method but it will allow them to create beautiful, movie-quality shakes – quality over quantity. Red is going the opposite approach – they are all about speed. They are going to make as many as possible and not focus on the details so much. This will haunt them. Then there is blue, who adopts a sort of middle of the road strategy. They have specific jobs but are also going as quick as they can. With only 10 minutes to create as many milkshakes as possible the once pristine Master Chef set quickly devolves into messy ice-cream covered pandemonium with our tiny chefs running to and fro, hands covered in sticky. It doesn’t take long before Olivia slips and eats shit. There’s a pause and Gordon asks if she’s alright. Yep! She’s good. She can’t focus on whatever pain she might be feeling she’s gotta make those shakes.

Yellow team
Slow and steady wins the race. Even after falling.

As time expires the pint-size chefs line up their shakes and it seems pretty obvious who won even with the creative camera angles and aggressive panning. Yellow wins by a country mile – all of their shakes look straight out of a postcard from a 1950’s café – I would drink all of them. So the real competition here is who performed worse – blue or red? Any guesses? Christina was the judge for blue and she does not hold back letting them know that their shakes do not have nearly enough whipped cream on top. I mean she really lets them have it for the whipped cream slip up. You know when you get in trouble at your friend’s house and their mom is the one who is telling you what you did was wrong? That’s how I felt with Christina and blue team’s shakes. I wanted it to be over as soon as possible.

As for the all-boy red team…they did not do great. Their shakes were predictably awful. Turns out going as fast as you can and focusing on quantity over quality may not have been the best strategy. That attitude is fine for say Arby’s, but not for a potential future restauranteur. Red loses and will be cooking with the rest of the kids that did not get to participate. But before we get to the elimination round the kids get one more treat: Gordon, Christina and Joe are drawing straws to see who will be dunked into the large shake in the center of the room. Secretly I am hoping to Christina but in my heart I know it’s going to be Joe and you know what? It’s Joe! Joe dutifully slides into the large chocolate shake as the kids squeal. He slowly submerges his head and I get a real Apocalypse Now vibe from the scene as Joe rises from the shake completely covered in chocolate shake. Oh but there’s more. Every shake needs whipped cream so the kids push a button and accent Joe with a nice whipped cream topping. Poor Joe and poor $3000 suit. Why does Henry know how much Joe’s suit cost? Is he an Arrested development fan?

Joe Bostianich in a giant milkshake

After our favorite trick editing sequence Joe is magically cleaned in an instant and we are ready to go for the next round. Side note: How many takes do they need to get this editing sequence right with the kids’ reaction? I envision them standing around for like an hour while Joe gets cleaned up, or maybe they stand around and film it before the competition with all 3 judges. Either way it’s a lame mechanic that they do every season and I wish they would stop – but I am sure I will see this “magic trick” at least 7 more times this season. Sigh.

For the challenge tonight the kids will be putting their own spin on a southern classic – chicken and waffles! Coincidentally I am making chicken and waffles this week at home so when they announce this challenge I am hoping to be inspired. Each chef will have 45 minutes to personalize their own version of chicken and waffles for the judges. For example: Gordon says to make chicken and waffles more British he would embrace England’s imperialistic past and make the dish more Indian – What?! Are British people really that flippant about cultural appropriation? Can you imagine an American chef saying something similar on national TV? I get that Indian cuisine is popular throughout Britain but that would be like me saying I am going to make my chicken and waffles more American by making them more Mexican. Sigh.

The kids race to gather their ingredients as the competition gets under way. Quani, the young baker from Georgia, confesses his love for chicken and waffles stating that he has the meal 1-2 times per week. If that’s actually true Quani you better enjoy your metabolism while it lasts because you won’t be eating that at the same rate when you’re older. Youth truly is wasted on the young. Enjoy it now, Quani. We flip to Grayson who is making tie-dye waffles. Hmmmm. Gordon is curious about the dish but before he can even get to the waffles’ color scheme and flavor he notices a problem straight away – Grayson has swapped his flour for powdered sugar without realizing it. He almost made an all sugar waffle!!! Can you imagine if he could actually get that to set what that waffle would taste like? It would be an explosion of cavities. Luckily this is early enough that Grayson has time to dump the mix and start over. I’m legit impressed Gordon can discern the difference between powdered sugar and flour just by looking at it. They look identical to me.

tie dye waffle
No one is going to eat this over the age of 5

Our next preview is Arianna.  She tells us that she will be making a Belarussian style chicken and waffles dish. I don’t know what Belarussian cuisine is or what it tastes like so I believe whatever Arianna says it is. Apparently that means creamy mushroom sauce? Mushrooms are not my favorite so this dish would be a hard one for me personally, but I know many people like the earthy sweetness mushrooms can bring to a dish. The judges are intrigued and I would make a bad Belarussian.

Soon we get to see what my current favorite, Ben, is cooking up for his version of chicken and waffles.  Surprise surprise Ben is looking to spice things up with a little bit of…WHITE CHOCOLATE! Dude really likes his white chocolate. Ben figures that the one thing wrong with his dish last time was that it clearly did not have enough white chocolate. He needs to give the judges more. Ben, I love you but I am worried you may go home due to your love of white chocolate. At least you’ll lose on your own terms, and that is something I can respect. As we near the end of the challenge we see that Camson’s waffle is not so much a waffle as it is just a huge mess that production is going to have to scrape from the waffle iron. With little time left Camson is forced to get a new waffle iron and try and turn out 1 more waffle otherwise he will be serving chicken and waffles minus the waffles and guarantee his ticket home. At the same time this is happening Pierce, safe on the balcony, has the most hilarious and exaggerated expressions on his face. Someone get this kid into theatre. And with that it’s judgement time!

Up first is Avery who hails from Texas. She has made a Texan-inspired chicken and waffles with her very own gunpowder sauce. It sound spicy so automatically I think it is good. Joe agrees. When he asks her if she hunts she tells him yes. He probes further. What does she want to hunt? Avery tells Joe that she wants to shoot a bear. WHAT? Ughhh, come on Avery! Leave bears alone, they don’t need to be shot. You want to hunt elk or rabbits or whatever else, fine. I don’t agree with it but fine, I get it. Some people like to hunt, but a bear? What the hell is wrong with your parents? Why do you think it is okay to shoot a bear – this isn’t the Oregon Trail! I’d send you home just for that comment, gunpowder sauce be damned. The judges disregard this and she’s probably safe (I’m watching you Avery – you’re on thin ice).

Remy is up next and showcases her Italian chicken and waffles. She’s made a parmesan encrusted fried chicken to compliment a tomato waffle. Intriguing. That sounds pretty pretty good. I might even order that in a restaurant if I saw it on the menu. The only slip up here is the sauce she made. Maple syrup won’t work with this combination so she’s made a cilantro yogurt to pair with the dish. That doesn’t sound fantastic. I don’t think cilantro is even Italian so the inspiration seems off. I might have served it with a classic red sauce – just a simple tomato something. Despite the sauce pairing it looks like Remy has proved Joe wrong – you can make Italian chicken and waffles. She’s good. Quani faces Joe with his version of chicken and waffles and right away it’s clear he’s made a critical error. In place of using the maple syrup provided Quani has decided to make his own syrup to impress the judges. In the words of Gordon Ramsay, “Oh dear.” Joe tells him that this syrup better be really damn good to use over a prized ingredient like maple sugar otherwise it could be “the anchor that drags him to the bottom of the lake”. It’s not good. It’s a brown sugar, water and cinnamon mixture that sounds pretty bland. Joe rightfully tells him he should have focused on the dish itself and not trying to outsmart the judges by crafting his own syrup – Joe cuts deep when wronged.

Baby Aaron Samuels (Cade) uses his southern background to create a Cajun-inspired chicken and waffles. I’ll put this out here now: I love Cajun food and will voraciously devour anything Cajun-inspired. Christina is the judge for Aaron-Cade and she loves what’s he has put on the plate. If Christina, who claims she grew up eating breakfast for dinner, says it’s good then you know it’s gotta be real good. Does this mean I attempt my own version of Cajun chicken and waffles this week? Maybe. Will it be as good as Cade’s? Doubtful since I’ve never cooked Cajun anything in my life.

Grayson’s waffles look like “play-doh”.They are a soggy sad mess and look terrible. Gordon takes a bite, basically tells him they are awful and that his chicken is bland. Maybe tie-dye waffles shouldn’t be a thing Grayson? Also, don’t cook for Master Chef the same way you cook for your little sister. I don’t know how old your little sister is but I imagine she’s at an age where things, sometimes food and sometimes not food, just get jammed in her mouth. The sweeter the better be it tie-dye waffles or a toy fire truck. Moving on to Ben and his white chocolate…wait…where’s the white chocolate Ben?! You told us there would be white chocolate and I know how liberal you can be when using white chocolate. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WHITE CHOCOLATE WE WERE PROMISED BEN? Ultimately this is a good thing – he’s learning to edit himself based on feedback from the judges. Ben has a big hill to climb based on his presentation but he’s learning. His dish seems underwhelming but again, he’s trying to take in what the judges are telling him. Give him another week guys!

Camson somehow makes a waffle and is able to serve a complete dish to the judges. They like the jalapenos in his waffles and everything seems to be coming up roses for Camson. Looks like he’s safe. We move on to Arianna and her creamy mushroom waffles taste amazing, apparently. I’m skeptical of anything mushroom but most chefs go gaga-gaga for well executed mushroom dishes. Nice work Arianna, you’re definitely in one of the top spots after this challenge and moving on. Finally, we have Mikey and Lindsay. Mikey’s presentation is killer, per Christina. Honestly, I think his presentation is enough to get him through to the next round because I don’t remember much about his chicken and waffles. I think he used potato chips to create the crust for the fried chicken? Sounds nice. We end with Lindsay’s chicken and waffles and well – she’s delivered exactly that, chicken and waffles. Minimalist presentation is pretty in right now at top-tier restaurants but there’s a big difference between minimal and bare. Lindsay’s plate looks bare. Oh and her chicken? It’s raw. I don’t know if she actually understood the challenge because she made literal chicken and waffles, no spin. This shouldn’t be a hard one for the judges because it’s quite clear she is going to make an exit with this effort.

Lindsay is in a spot of trouble with her under-cooked chicken and waffles

After the tasting the judges gather and debate the merits of each dish. After a short session the judges break and announce our winners. Arianna’s herb chicken and mushroom sauce topped waffles are good enough to get her a 2nd place finish. Our overall winner tonight is Cade and his Cajun waffles – yep, I’m gonna try to replicate this, wish me luck. For winning both Cade and Arianna will be a captains in the team challenge next week. Calling it now, this is usually more a liability than an advantage.

As for our losers – Ben, Quani, Lindsay and Grayson are all called to the front of the kitchen. Recalling each kid’s chicken and waffles I know who is going home. Ultimately I think the kids do, too. Tie-dye Grayson and plain Lindsay are going home sparring Ben and Quani. Phew, Ben is safe for another week. I think the two kids sent home deserved to be sent home but maybe you don’t. What do you think? Who had the best dish of the night who wasn’t named Cade? Should Ben or Quani have gone home over Grayson or Lindsay?

HOT TAKE: Master Chef Jr. A-Z Challenge

ABC’s are never as easy as 1-2-3, despite what young Michael would have you believe. Tonight’s episode of Master Chef Jr. starts off with one of the series’ favorite mystery box challenges – the A-Z challenge. Showrunners gather 26 ingredients, each beginning with a letter from the alphabet, and put in under the box for the kids to use in creating a dish. So for A you might have apple, and for X you always have Xanthan Gum. Does anyone actually know what Xanthan Gum is? Do you use it in your kitchen? I feel like it is used in Jell-O.

The kids are given an hour to whip up whatever they can imagine using the ingredients in the mystery box and some perform better than others. The first dish selected for a closer look is Remy’s lamb and cheese biscuits. Now I’ve made rack of lamb once before and I was supremely worried I would fuck it up. The cook on lamb has to be near-perfect for it to not taste like rubbish so when Remy goes right to the lamb in the mystery box challenge I think to myself, okay, this girl came to play. Not only did she ace the cook on the lamb – she apparently also had enough time to whip up some cheese biscuits. Smart girl. Cover the baking and you win over Christina. Execute the hard-to-perfect protein and perfect it? You win over Gordon. Not sure how to win over Joe just yet, maybe confidence. The kids think he is scary.

Beni is next up and she presents the judges with a plate that looks like it came from Claim Jumper – that’s normally a bad thing but not in this case. I just mean the plate is absolutely loaded. Comically so.  Beni’s plate may not be a standout on presentation but Christina Tosi thinks it looks like came from a hip steakhouse so that has to count for something. I don’t really know what a hip steakhouse is but it sounds like something that would go out of business, quickly. Steakhouses are like the most traditional restaurant type ever. A word to the wise: Whenever someone over the age of 40 describes something as hip it is inherently not hip. Beni’s herb-crusted steak looks delicious but I would probably pass on the ginger-quinoa and kale. If I’m eating steak I like to be gluttonous about it. Meat and Potatoes please.

Finally we have Henry. Henry also tackled the lamb but he went more Mediterranean with his flavors He seems to have also cooked the lamb well. Where do kids learn these types of flavors these days? When I was growing up the exotic spice in the house was Lowry’s seasoning salt. I didn’t have any Mediterranean or Middle Eastern food till I was in college and I’m not even talking fancy food. I mean literal hummus. I feel robbed. I missed so many flavors! Despite Henry cooking his lamb well it was not enough to beat Remy. Remy is also the name of the rat in Ratatouille so she will undoubtedly be the one to beat for some time. Instead of having a human to boss around and cook for her she has her sister – Olivia! I’ve never seen sisters on Master Chef Jr. but I imagine the family is elated since it pumps the odds of an overall win in their family. The real question is what happens if one of them wins? Do they split the winnings? Does one go to state school while the other attends Brown? I’m glad these aren’t my questions to answer.

Remy gets immunity and heads up to the balcony to watch the rest of the contestants make a Christina Tosi inspired (remember she’s the pastry chef!) tart. Hopefully we are getting the baking challenge out of the way by doing it now so we don’t have to go through this again. Speaking of Christina – the pantsuit-ruffle-bottom-loud-print ensemble is not working for me. She looks like wallpaper that someone fucked up but instead of taking it down and starting over the person said fuck it and left it hanging on the wall. It’s not a good look.

The kids make their tarts and some turn out quite nice but of course there are some that were not super great. Zia, who is baby Claudia (past Master Chef winner), struggles the entire challenge. She initially messes up her crust and is frozen with fear and sadness until Gordon swoops in with the assist and fixes things. When it comes to judging her tart – it also does not go well. When asked how much butter she used in her tart she told the judges a whole stick. I’ve never made a tart but judging by Gordon’s face I am thinking that is entirely too much butter. Now I know there are people out there with the opinion that you can never have enough butter but if you need a “hacksaw” to get through the crust of your tart than you may have tipped the butter ratio too far. She’s crying but Gordon sends her off with a compliment letting her know her filling is pleasant. Nice save Gordy but I think Zia is not long for this competition.

Avery is another contestant who had some difficulty from the onset. When Gordon swings by mid-cook to see how she’s doing he observes that she has left the orange peels on her oranges. This is when Avery lies to Gordon and tells her it was intentional. How do I know she is a liar? Because when asked about the orange peels being left on the tart by Joe she tells Joe it was a mistake! WHICH IS IT AVERY? Did you mean to leave the peels on or nah? You don’t want to go down a path of lying to get away with things just because you don’t want to face the consequences. White lies now snowball to white lies in the White House. Just ask Hope Hicks how lying works out – not good. She also claims her tart has every color in the rainbow in it but I count 2 colors: orange and blue. Since when are orange and blue the only colors of a rainbow. Unless she’s completely colorblind she’s gas-lighting us. We gotta turn this ship around, pronto.

Quani’s tart has an off-putting orange color but the taste and cook are good enough that he’s safe. He seems to struggle with color on his parties as well. Last week he made some tasty cupcakes but they were an ill green color. He’s gotta fix this. Juelz makes a pineapple tart and here is where I learn the limits of Christina Tosi’s patience. She is borderline incredulous that Juelz has the audacity to put pineapple on a tart. Doesn’t he know that pineapples are too fibrous to be put on a tart! They will break down the tart and make it gross. It’s almost like he had no idea this was the case and just willy-nilly thought to himself that since he liked pineapple it might be a good flavor to put on a tart. Unbelievable! This is a grave mistake, according to Christina. She knows what he did – he fucked up. And she called him out on it. I think her reaction is a bit heavy-handed. I like pineapple. I think this tart would be good. Someone make a good pineapple tart and mail it to Christina.

Next we get to Ben, and oh man is his tart a work of art. Ben is a man of pleasure and can’t waste his time focused on presentation, or crafting a perfect uniform crust. That shit is weak. Ben is about maximum satisfaction when eating a tart. For his tart he’s prepared a white chocolate and berry tart. What kind of berry you ask? All the berries. It’s like Captain Crunch’s oops all berries on his tart. He then adds as much white chocolate as the tart can hold. It’s dribbled on the tart. There is a white chocolate glaze. Scattered about the valleys between the berries there are large chunks of white chocolate. And in the center? Ben saved the best for last. A jagged spire of white chocolate erupts triumphantly from the center of the tart daring the judges to call his tart anything else but art. The judges don’t quite see the tart the same way ben and I do and it turns out that he probably should have focused on presentation and a uniform crust. BUT CAN YOU DENY THE TASTE? I bet it was sickeningly good. At this point I was pretty nervous Ben’s quest for ultimate flavor might send him home.

BUT…Ben escapes just by the skin of his teeth and Juelz is sent home for his pineapple transgression instead. Zia is also sent home and I’m not too surprised. She just didn’t get the baking thing which I can relate to. Every pastry type thing I have ever tried to make has failed so completely that know with absolute certainty I would be going home Zia if I was being judged on making a tart. So Juelz and Zia hit the dusty trail. Adios kiddos.

My current front-runners on the show are Beni and Quani – maybe I have a thing for names that end in i? I love Ben and his commitment to flavor and I hope he takes to coaching well but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous for him. If, and when, Ben does get asked to leave the Master Chef kitchen I hope it is because the judges aren’t ready for the amount of flavor Ben brings. One other note – Cade looks like baby Aaron Samuels from Mean Girls. Happy October 3rd Cade!

They’re Baaaack!

Another season of Master Chef Junior is upon us, and none too soon. My normal cynicism can be cast aside as I watch these talented kids cook up better meals than I ever could. Sure, they don’t always succeed, but when they do the results are nothing short of amazing. Master Chef Junior follows the same format as Master Chef – a collection of home cooks gathered from across the country that come together and compete to see who can become the Master Chef. Junior. It’s your typical rise to the top reality TV competition. For our panel of judges Fox brought in some culinary heavyweights:

Gordon Ramsay – Known more for his anger than his famous beef wellington or perfect scrambled eggs recipes, Gordon is the main host of the show. On the adult version of Master Chef, you can expect him to play up his outrage for the cameras and making cooks question their self-worth as both a chef and as a person but here on the kid version he prefers the disappointed father role. You can catch glimpses of what he might be like at home when he talks to some of the young chefs, exhibiting both pride and concern for the kiddos at different points. Still, he’s at his best when he mutters “oh dear” to himself as he stares into a slice of raw chicken and levels a child’s hope. Neat nature fact: there is a show on Netflix called lookalikes that I watched last night and there is a dude on there that has an uncanny resemblance to Gordon Ramsay. It’s terrifying. Bizarro Ramsay.

Christina Tosi – I wax and wane on whether or not I actually like her as a judge. Christina was brought in a few seasons ago to represent both women and the beleaguered baker. In the culinary world bakers and chefs are constantly warring with one another. One profession involves passion and creativity, where the other involves science and attention to details. This is a not so subtle metaphor for the battle of the sexes here. Christina is probably the most critical out of all 3 judges and it is clear to me that she has difficulty relating to children – like me. Rarely does she seem pleased with the kids unless they are baking. Kids should never be heard nor seen. Every few episodes there will be a baking specific challenge and it becomes the Christina Tosi show. She does not hesitate to let kids know they screwed up and I have to believe after taping she goes back stage and cackles at their failures. Basically, I get her.

Joe Bostianich – Welcome back Joe! I’ve missed you and your suits and your sneakers and your east coast attitude. This is Joe’s first season back after leaving us just a few seasons ago. Joe was a regular judge on the show but had to excuse himself to open a little restaurant empire you may have heard of…Eataly. Anyway, Joe is back and I couldn’t be happier. The way he interacts with the kids on the show is great. He treats them like tiny adults, and as peers. He has no problem speaking to them about investment models and trendy restaurants and the kids’ reactions are priceless. You can tell their parents never speak to them like that. Basically, I wish Joe was my dad.

So, with our entourage of judges assembled we must now go through the ritualistic culling of the herd to get to our main competitors. This year’s group of kids competing in Master Chef Jr. seems bigger than previous years. 24 boys and 24 girls are assembled to take part in an initial challenge to see who will earn the coveted white apron. The white apron is basically holy grail from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – those who are worthy may drink from the bounty of the grail and receive ever-lasting life (verified twitter handle) and those who are not disappear from relevance.

For the girls, Gordon tasks them with cooking the perfect filet mignon. He does a quick demo where he expertly creates a stunning filet using nothing more than some salt and pepper, rosemary, thyme and butter. Super easy right? Yep, that is exactly how it turns out in my house too. Now, I if I am being nitpicky he says his is a perfect mid-rare and well…it looks a bit more towards the rare than the mid-rare end of the scale which is fine because when I make filet in a skillet it comes out that way too. Same! I’ve learned to eat steak this way because I am a miserable home cook I guess. Still haven’t had ecoli though. After the brief 8 minute demo the girls have everything they need to prepare their perfect filet.

Now I’ll be honest – I had a hard time telling who is who and I am not going to commit to watching this episode again because:

  1. I don’t want to get emotionally invested in some kid that is going to be booted off at the end of the first episode
  2. This is the same case for boys episode – I won’t be watching it more than once for the same reason
  3. As with every reality tv show I need the producers to tell me who to care about after the blood-letting
  4. I’m not ready to pick favorites.

The girls cook filets, some get eliminated, some do not. Rinse, wash and repeat for the boys only this time they are cooking Chicken. I think it’s a poor choice to have little boys working with chicken versus steak only because little boys are much messier than little girls so there has to be salmonella EVERYWHERE at this point. Things got worse for the boys – somehow one of the kitchen towels gets set on fire but the kid who lit it up is as cool as a cucumber. Honestly, he couldn’t be bothered with it and I begin to question whether or not he knows how it happened in the first place.

There’s another boy, Tyler, an 8-year-old from Milford, DE, who is hilarious. He’s my early favorite but his dry chicken fingers and carrots, admittedly a bizarre combo, do not make the cut. Gordon tells the young dude that maybe a sauce like a spicy ketchup would have helped? He coolly tells Gordon maybe mustard. Ah well, he’s gone and I hardly knew him. I was really hoping for another Riley situation but sadly no. It was not meant to be.

With our kiddos in place for season 6 we are ready to get cooking. I’ll have some actual hot takes on the contestants (seems weird to say kids here, so I won’t) this week.