How MasterChef Junior 'Breaks Down Barriers,' According To Daphne Oz

"Masterchef Junior" gives talented kids a chance to showcase their culinary skills in front of viewers across the country. The contestants take on ambitious dishes such as Beef Wellington while trying to impress experienced judges such as celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. But even the judges on "Masterchef Junior" have been taken aback by the kids' talent in the kitchen.

Former "Masterchef" producer Robin Ashbrook said to HuffPost in 2017, "I remember on day one we did the audition, and the judges were like, 'How are we going to be? This food is not going to be as good as the adults', so how do we approach it?' They just assumed the food would be fish fingers or beans on toast." Ashbrook added that the judges ended up realizing how good the kids really were when they sampled the dishes for the first time and thought to themselves, "Oh s**t, can they really do this?" 

According to TV personality, food writer, and chef Daphne Oz, being able to come up with remarkable dishes has nothing to do with age. And kids are perfectly capable of cooking delicious meals. Oz, who is set to appear as a judge on "Masterchef Junior" Season 8 alongside Ramsay and Aarón Sánchez, is convinced that the competition can really help aspiring cooks evolve, per FoodSided.

Daphne Oz thinks the show is a unifier

According to Daphne Oz, "Masterchef Junior" has played a crucial role in encouraging kids to polish their cooking skills. She told FoodSided in March that the show has "fostered a passion within the young cooks." Additionally, she thinks the series "breaks down barriers" because it has a massive fan following that spans various age groups. As Oz puts it, the show "has something for everyone, and everyone can learn a lot." Additionally, she suspects "Masterchef Junior" could teach fussy eaters not to fear food.

"Masterchef Junior" has been surprising to some viewers, too. For example, one Redditor wondered how the kids can cook difficult dishes with such ease. But another commenter shared a personal anecdote, writing, "Some kids enjoy cooking and their parents allow them to do it. I taught all of my kids how to cook at age 10 and, while none of them are master chef standard, they could all prepare and cook a family meal by themselves by 12." 

As for Oz's own children, she's working to foster a love of cooking in them, too, even if they're not on the same level as the "Masterchef Junior" contestants. "My kids are actually capable of getting in there, they're just capable at different levels. My older two love making garlic bread and they love helping to make salads, salad dressings, things like that. My younger two will do mixing, egg cracking, pouring in vanilla and things like that," Oz told Parade in March.