What has been your culinary history? When did you start cooking?
My culinary history is my family. My mom’s side of family loves to cook southern food, that just warms you inside. Whereas my father’s side of the family cooks a lot of Jamaican food, and exotic dishes. And I guess the both came together to make me. I started cooking when I was about 3 years old
How often do you cook at home?
Usually at home I cook about once or twice a week. It`s pretty much my hobby. I am usually busy with school and after school activities, so I cook more during the summer.
What was your motivation to try out for MasterChef Junior?
It was actually my mom. She found the audition with no expectation of me making it on the show. She just thought it would be something fun for me to do because I love to cook. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have made it on to the show. But, when she told me about the audition, I was super excited because I watch the show all the time.
What was your most memorable moment on MasterChef Junior?
Winning of course was amazing, but I did love getting an apron during my first competition. That was just amazing, because I never knew/ thought I would even get that far. To hear them call my name was so exciting. Finally, I loved being team captain. It was great to be able to show my leadership skills, and I loved being able to lead my team to victory!
Which team challenge was the hardest for you and how did you overcome it?
he hardest team challenge for me was when Justise was team captain, and we cooked at the beach. This was difficult, because the stakes were high and this was our ticket to the semi-finals. There were only three of us on the team and we each had to deliver. I had to use my voice, and pretty much be everyone’s right hand man. But it was a challenge I was ready to take on. It was a lot of pressure but we got it done. I also just kept a positive attitude, and didn’t let myself get too flustered.
Which individual challenge was the hardest for you and what do you attribute to completing it successfully?
The hardest individual challenge for me was the torching challenge. I had bad time management, and a lot of setbacks that really disadvantaged me. Unfortunately, I did not successfully complete this dish, but I didn’t give up, and kept my head held high. I would attribute that to my parents, because they never let me give up, or quit, they always push me to keep going no matter how hard it is.
If you could design a challenge for next year, what would it be?
If I could pick a challenge for next year’s contestants, I would say the challenge would be you have to make a cuisine from 3 exotic countries, and use blue cheese in it. The judges could pick the countries, and see how well the contestants replicate the chosen country’s dish.
If you were a judge, what would you look for in a winning dish?
If I were a judge, I would want the winner to be someone who handles diversity well, and who doesn’t let themselves get frazzled under pressure. I would want someone who uplifts, and helps the other contestants, and finally someone who doesn’t just cook what they’re used to, but tries other cultures of food.
What are your plans following MasterChef Junior?
I want to finish sixth grade and make the honor roll. Besides that, I do have a few projects I`m working on. Possibly a cookbook, or food blog. I can`t share everything, but I am going to take advantage of this opportunity.
What have you been doing since winning MasterChef Junior?
I have been going to school and working on my various projects. We’ve also received many requests and opportunities that we’re sorting through. I’m hoping to resume dancing and take some acting classes. I`m just so excited, and thankful for all of the support I have received from everyone.
Outside the MasterChef kitchen, what was your most memorable moment with the other chefs?
I would say meeting up with everyone having a pool party. It was just nice to talk to everyone, chill, and eat!