Meet the Newest Batch of Bite-Sized Home Cooks

The kids are back for Season Five of the hit culinary competition series MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, premiering Thursday, Feb. 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET) on FOX. Judges Chef Gordon Ramsay and Chef Christina Tosi welcome the latest crop of junior home cooks to the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR kitchen, where they will compete for the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR trophy and the $100,000 grand prize.

After a nationwide search, 40 of the best junior home cooks between the ages of eight and thirteen have been chosen for their final test – a culinary battle in the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR kitchen in front of Chefs Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi. Only the 20 best chef-testants who prove they have the chops to take home the trophy will move forward and earn a MASTERCHEF JUNIOR white apron.

This season, the kids will face exciting challenges, including completing a challenge from First Lady Michelle Obama; cooking a meal for more than 50 first responders; MASTERCHEF JUNIOR’s first-ever vegan challenge, from guest judge Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory”); and cooking for other VIPs, including Julie Bowen (“Modern Family”) and Muppets “Miss Piggy” and “Swedish Chef,” until one talented kid is named America’s next MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, taking home the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR trophy and $100,000 grand prize.

In the season premiere episode, “The Quest for an Apron Part 1,” 40 junior home cooks come to Los Angeles ready to compete for a MASTERCHEF JUNIOR apron. In each culinary showdown, four chefs receive a unique challenge – from steak, to scallops to cupcakes. Two lucky winners from each group earn an apron and a chance to move on, while two head back home. The competition is tougher than ever as Gordon and Christina separate the best junior chefs from all the rest. All Top 20 contestants will be revealed in the following episode, “The Quest for an Apron Part 2,” airing Thursday, Feb. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET) on FOX.