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Published on February 29, 2024
Austin's Young Culinary Prodigy Competes on 'MasterChef Junior' Season 9Source: Master Chef

The heat is on for a group of mini culinary masters set to take over the kitchen in the ninth season of 'MasterChef Junior.' Austin's own Kristell Jean, a 10-year-old whose family runs the Mexican seafood taco truck Ensenada ATX, is among the crew of 12 young chefs competing for a sizable prize and the coveted title of 'MasterChef Junior.'

Coming from a background steeped in culinary tradition, Jean's enthusiasm for the kitchen craft is nothing short of palpable. "When I was little, I love pretending being on the show, and cooking," she told Eater Austin, sharing how she used to simulate the cooking show's stressful environments with help from her younger brother. "It was so much fun," she says.

The 'MasterChef Junior lineup this season boasts pint-sized chefs with big aspirations, each harboring dreams that span from writing cookbooks to opening food trucks and restaurants. According to an article by Parade, contestants range in age from 8 to 11, each bringing their own unique flair and culinary vision to the table.

With stakes as high as the simmering talents of these youngsters, 'MasterChef Junior Season 9 promises intense competition and inspiring displays of culinary skill. Austin's pride, Jean, taps into her family's cooking lineage while also showcasing her prowess. "I love cooking because it brings family and friends together, trying all of these amazing flavors and foods,” Jean told Eater Austin. From creating savory empanadas to perfecting the simple art of pork belly, Jean is in it to win it.

As for the competition, Gordon Ramsay is joined by Daphne Oz, Aarón Sánchez, and a newcomer to the judge's panel, Tilly Ramsay, Gordon’s daughter. With the premiere set for March 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX, viewers across the nation are bracing for a culinary showdown that's equally charming and cutthroat. Will this Austin food truck prodigy slice and dice her way to triumph? Stay tuned.