Meet Gonzalo from #MasterChefJunior

Gonzalo from Master Chef JuniorWho or what was your inspiration to start cooking?
My mom and my grandmother, I started helping her cook by just cutting vegetables of course with her supervision.

At what age did you start cooking? What was your initial experience like?
I started cooking at the age of 5 helping mom cutting vegetables for dinner. My first experience was really really fun! I could feel the adrenaline pumping in my blood of course as a 5 year old I didn’t know what adrenaline was but I’m pretty sure that’s what it was.

Why did you want to be on MasterChef Junior?
I actually tried out for season two of the show and I wasn’t picked. But I didn’t let that stop me so I practiced to get my skills up and then one day my school sent an email about auditions being held in NY and I was like wait a minute didn’t I try out for this years ago. So I was like you know what, I think I’m ready to jump in and try it again.

What did you most enjoy about being on the show?
The thing I enjoyed the most was the fact that I was surrounded by people who loved the same things I did and not have to worry about the faces on my friends face being like what’s he talking about? But besides that I loved the competing aspect of the show and making friends and meeting GORDON RAMSAY!! One of my biggest inspirations besides Michael Symon.

What is it like cooking for Gordon Ramsay? What was the best advice he gave you?
Cooking for Gordon Ramsay, the only word I can use to explain how it felt to cook for him is honored. I felt extremely honored to have been able to cook for such a sophisticated chef. Also because he is one of my biggest inspirations. The best advice he gave me was during the top 40 episode each kid got to ask one question about scallops, the seafood we were cooking. I asked how long should the scallops be in the pan for and he responded 90 seconds each side. And those little details could be crucial when excecuting the dish.

Were there any catastrophes in the kitchen?
There has never been any catastrophes in the Master Chef Kitchen. But of course I’ve burned, over cooked, and undercooked things throughout the time I’ve been cooking.

What’s your favorite dish to prepare?
My favorite dish I made was definitely the vegan burger because of the fact that it was something new and something exciting, something I’ve never made before. It was a first and being a huge CARNIVORE and having no experience cooking all vegan it was definitely my favorite dish to make.

Where do the ideas for your dishes come from?
The ideas come from recipes my family has made from cookbooks. In addition, fusions, I do like Asian and Hispanic fusion.

What is your plan after the show?
My plan for after the show is to be able to help out children who have been sexually abused and trafficked. And be able to help out just in my community doing fundraisers for my school. With regard to cooking my plan is to get my skills up again now that I have more wisdom from the show and take that into my own kitchen work. That said maybe later on try out for another show and be better and apply what I’ve been taught in MasterChef Junior to any kitchen.

Do you want to someday own your own restaurant and if so, what kind of food would you serve?
I do want to own my own restaurant and the types of food I’d like to cook are international foods from all over the world so people who have just come to America and they miss their home food could be like wait a minute this restaurant has food from my country and they could eat there. It would be called food from around the world.

What will you do with the money if you win?
If I won the money I would give some to my mom, dad, sisters, and grandparents for their help. If it wasn’t for them I probably would be lost and have no clue of what to do in life. I would also donate money to charity’s of all different causes such as cancer research, and child trafficking.

What chef do you most want to cook with and why?
There are two chefs in the entire world that I want to cook with. One of course is Gordon Ramsay because like I’ve said before he is one of my biggest inspirations and also because he can teach you so much about how everything should be cooked. As well Michael Symon because he is so much fun and really brings a lot of heat to the table and because they are both sophisticated chefs.

Besides cooking, what other things do you like to do?
Besides cooking I also love to act, I’ve done things for Pearson Education for Spanish speaking voice overs. I’ve done a short film called “The In Between”. I also love to read adventure, non fiction, fiction books, and murder mysteries.

Are you excited about watching yourself on TV?
Well, yes and no. Yes because it’s amazing to see such a huge accomplishment come to life. And no because it’s so CRINGY to see my face and hear my voice on TV

Would you ever star in your own cooking show?
I would definitely star in my own cooking show because I think it’s cool to see children who are passionate about something, take it to the next level and have other kids who also like the same thing learn from there own generation.