The kid contestants of Top Chef Jr. are here and they mean business.

Top Chef Jr., hosted by Vanessa Lachey and head judge chef Curtis Stone, is set to debut in October, but before the top contestants make it to the kitchen to compete for the coveted Top Chef Jr. title and a $50,000 cash prize, they have to survive boot camp, which will be depicted in a webseries called Making It to Top Chef Junior.

In a clip from the series, the 22 contestants who made it through the early audition rounds are whittled down to 12 after a series of culinary challenges. From nervous beginnings to super competitive game faces, these mini chefs are not messing around — also, they really know how to cook! Just look at those apple-slicing skills at 2:09.

The boot camp is designed to ensure the kids have the skills they need before the competition begins, like mastering the many functions of a food processor (if they can reach it!), and then preparing an entire meal. Some young chefs initially seem more flustered than others, but there’s no doubt all of the determined 11-14 year-olds are “here to chef.”

Along the way, the next generation of culinary superstars will be guided through the Top Chef Jr. journey by three recurring judges: Top Chef judges Gail Simmons and Graham Elliot, and Top Chef alum Tiffany Derry.

Check out the boot camp intro video above and meet the 12 finalists here.

Top Chef Jr. premieres Oct. 13 on Universal Kids (formerly Sprout).

Top Chef Junior
  • TV Show