Audrey, 12 — Zachary, La.
A proud southern girl, Audrey loves cooking low and slow to make classic Southern comfort food dishes like shrimp and grits. Her culinary hero is Cat Cora because she is a strong female role model with southern roots and a certified Iron Chef.
Fernando, 11 — Elmhurst, Ill.
Fernando’s secret weapon in the kitchen is his passion for science and math. Extraordinarily intelligent for his age, Fernando is in an accelerated math class and works at a 7th grade level.
Fuller, 13 — Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Fuller has overcome cancer on three different times and is currently in complete remission. Despite his young age, he already has the drive to start his career and is currently working part time at a local restaurant called the Southern Ale House to hone his culinary skills.
Henry, 13 — Naperville, Ill.
Henry has been cooking regularly since he was 10 years old. In three short years, he went from cooking as a pastime to pursuing a full-time career as a chef. Henry has actively been trying to refine his already advanced skills by attending culinary classes at Sur La Table and religiously watching Chef’s Table.
Jasmine, 13 — Charlotte, N.C.
Jasmine got her start in the kitchen when she was four years old by helping her mom and grandma bake. She now has chef mentors that teach her proper techniques and allow her to volunteer in their restaurants. She earned the nickname “JJ Mastermind” from her uncle because of her problem solving abilities — whether she’s in the kitchen or playing chess.
Katelyn 11 — New Orleans, La.
Katelyn’s passion for cooking started when she was nine years old while watching Jewel — her family’s private chef — make dinner. Now this vivacious cook receives cooking lessons from Jewel and helps her make dinner nearly every night acting as her sous chef. With aspirations to become a chef when she grows up, Katelyn hopes to one day cook for Lady Gaga.
Kenzie, 12 — Midlothian, Tex.
Ready to conquer the culinary world, Kenzie is interning at a local upscale restaurant learning cooking techniques and getting practice in a commercial kitchen. She prides herself on making Southern comfort food.
Max, 12 — New York, N.Y.
Max is a self-proclaimed nerd whose love for cooking comes from his love of chemistry, because he is fascinated by seeing different ingredients interact. Passionate about the farm-to-table movement, Max and his father have a tradition of going apple picking every year to bake pies from scratch.
Maxine, 14 — Los Angeles, Calif.
Maxine loves all kinds of food, but she won’t eat pig, cow, or lamb because she loves the animals too much. She enjoys eating authentically spicy foods, but refuses to eat foods that are artificially spiced, like spicy chips. Every time she cooks, Maxine wears her namesake and great grandmother Maxine’s lucky apron.
Milo, 13 — St. Paul. Minn.
Milo cooks every night at home and loves being in the kitchen because he feels cooking is a way to express himself creatively. He calls himself the “Picasso of Food!” Milo’s favorite type of cuisine to prepare at home is Asian-inspired food because he loves working with the interesting flavors. A comedic personality, he stands out as a fun-loving, spirited, and talented chef.
Owen, 13 — Baltimore, Md.
Owen started cooking when he was three years old and has had an insatiable desire to learn all there is to know in the culinary world ever since. Attending a Montessori school, Owen has been taking cooking classes to expand his culinary knowledge since 2nd grade. His skills are so advanced that he has been dubbed “best chef” in school and also leads cooking demonstrations.
Rahanna, 13 — Oakland, Calif.
Rahanna has been cooking since she was seven years old. She is mostly self-taug , but also learned how to cook watching the TV shows of her two favorite chefs, Jacques Pépin and Julia Child. Being Mexican and African-American, Rahanna loves to fuse bold Latin flavors with down-home soul food dishes like shrimp and grits with chile sauces made from scratch. Plating is Rahanna’s top priority and she loves to add elegant garnishes to her dishes.