MasterChef Junior Season 9 Winner Bryson McGlynn Says What He Really Thinks About Gordon Ramsay - Exclusive

Cooking show competitions are notoriously tough for even the most experienced chefs, yet "MasterChef Junior" contestants manage to make it look easy. During season 9 of Fox's "MasterChef Junior," three talented young chefs made it to the series finale for a chance to be crowned the champion. The talented trio included Bryson McGlynn and Michael Seegobin, both 11 years of age, and Remy Powell, the youngest contestant at age 10. Under the watchful eyes of judges, including Chefs Gordon Ramsay and Aarón Sanchez, the pint-sized powerhouses showcased seriously impressive culinary skills throughout the season. From cooking fresh fare for members of the Harlem Globetrotters to preparing Chef Ramsay's duck à l'orange recipe, the clever children often surpassed the skills of chefs thrice their age.

However, only one competitor walked away with the grand prize: The title of "MasterChef Junior" champion, $100,000, and a brand new kitchen by Viking and OXO. That lucky contestant was none other than Bryson McGlynn, the Opelika, Alabama, native skilled in the art of Southern barbecue. Following his big win, Mashed caught up with McGlynn in an exclusive interview to hear about his experiences on the show, his future plans, and what it was like working with Gordon Ramsay. Apparently, he's far kinder in real life than his television persona lets on. "It was actually really fun to work with Chef Ramsay. I think that he's really, really passionate in what he does," says McGlynn.

McGlynn's winning menu showcased Southern barbecue and charm

Despite some initial nervousness about filming, the Alabama chef quickly adapted to the fast-paced environment and felt right at home amongst other members of the show's cast. "One of my favorite moments was meeting all the kids and judges because I always thought cooking brings people together and that's what it did on MasterChef Junior," McGlynn tells Mashed. And McGlynn has some words of wisdom for cooking show hopefuls: "Follow your dreams. Always have fun with what you're doing and experiment with different things."

McGlynn also picked up plenty of kitchen know-how during his time on the show. "Flambéing was a huge one and it's so fun. It's just really cool just to see a huge flame go up and it gets you all warm," he tells Mashed. The "MasterChef Junior" champion thought carefully about his menu for the finale, drawing inspiration from his grilling experiences with his father, Mike. "I really wanted to take my Southern charm and traditions and mix it in with my barbecue and grilling competition knowledge," says McGlynn. So, what's the young grillmaster's best tip for barbecue beginners? "Use a Thermapen, and make sure everything's cooked to the way that you would like it."

The first meal McGlynn plans to make in his grand prize kitchen

One of the most mouthwatering components of Bryson McGlynn's menu on the season 9 finale was his homemade hush puppies, which Chef Gordon Ramsay commended for their perfectly cooked interiors. If you're looking to replicate the Southern delicacy at home, McGlynn is happy to provide tips. "In the South, we don't really try to make it a perfect ball. We add corn — that's a big one — and a lot of butter. And if you really want to, add some cheese," says the chef. He prefers Manchego cheese in his hush puppy recipe, though you can experiment with whatever you'd like.

When asked to name his favorite meat to throw on the grill, McGlynn doesn't mince words. "It has to be steaks. If I didn't say steaks, everybody in the South would kill me," he says. McGlynn hasn't received his Viking kitchen at the time of writing, though he knows just what he'll make first: Steak, of course. "It's going to be fun whipping up a steak in our new kitchen," he tells Mashed. With the title of "MasterChef Junior" champion under his belt, he's looking forward to entering culinary school and opening a food truck someday in the future, serving Cajun-inspired surf and turf on the go.