A Delectable Delight for Foodies and Fans Alike
by Ryan Nix // Photos Provided by MasterChef Junior
A FEAST FOR THE SENSES
MasterChef Junior Live! is coming to the University of Arkansas — Pulaski Technical College’s (UAPTC) Center for Humanities and Arts (CHARTS) theater on October 10.
A feast for the senses, MasterChef Junior Live! tours nationwide to demonstrate the culinary clout and finesse of its young chefs. MasterChef Junior will feature head to head cooking competitions, demonstrations and challenges with former MasterChef Junior contestants along with a question and answer session for any curious young cooks in attendance.
Headlining the night is Jasmine Stewart, winner of MasterChef Junior’s fifth season. The other contestants contending for the live cooking competition’s crown include Malia Brauer, the runner-up from Season 7 and Evan Estrada and Matthew Smith, fan favorites from Seasons 6 and 7 respectively. However, according to Dixie Baker, director of the marketing firm partnered with MasterChef Junior, the event will feature a cooking exhibition, rather than a competition. “Our kid chefs will present fun cooking demonstrations with elements from the original MasterChef Junior show like mystery ingredients and surprise challenges,” Baker says. “The chefs will choose adults and children from the audience members to act as sous-chefs who will cooperate with the contestants.” Through this immersive atmosphere, MasterChef Junior Live! hopes to inspire the next generation of young chefs to think outside the recipe and craft their own culinary innovations.
As one of the 10 cities chosen for the inaugural season of MasterChef Junior Live!, Little Rock is very fortunate to host this exciting event. This stage adaptation of the award-winning cooking competition MasterChef Junior, MasterChef Junior Live! brings the same level of culinary excellence audiences have come to expect from the show in the past six years. The show takes its audience on a walk through the creation of a full three-course meal from an appetizer with mystery ingredients to a challenging dessert.
Tim Jones, the director of public relations at UAPTC, is particularly excited about MasterChef Junior Live!. “The show is a great tie-in with our culinary arts program.
It just captures the imagination of kids all around. We’ve had amazing ticket sales for the event; parents say their kids are just so excited about the program,” Jones says. “That excitement is what our educational institution is all about. We want to light up young minds to see the world of possibilities around them, culinary and everything else.”
Particularly important to the success of this program is the representation of young chefs onstage. “I think the coolest thing about MasterChef Junior Live! is its youth contestants; it really helps kids in the audience when they can identify and see themselves in the performers,” Jones says. Jones hopes the production will inspire young audience members to enroll in next summer’s Youth Chefs Culinary Camp, sponsored by UAPTC’s Culinary Arts Institution. The camp will provide instruction on baking, knife skills and the fundamentals of haute cuisine for a variety of skill levels.
The show will take place at 7:30 p.m. on October 10 at the CHARTS theater on the Pulaski Techincal College’s campus on I-30. If you are the parent of an aspiring chef or just enjoy a good cooking competition, plan to attend MasterChef Junior Live!. It has the recipe for a fantastic night full of fun, frenzy and foodstuffs.