Watching The Kids On Masterchef Proudly Discuss Their Heritages Has Made My Entire Month

Junior Masterchef

Junior Masterchef – what a concept, hey? You’d think nothing could be more wholesome than the original version, and then you switch out the adults for kids and you get a perfect mix of unbelievable talent, pure joy, and even more chaotic energy (thank you, Ben).

Put the aggressive talent aside for one moment though, and you’re left with these bright and confident kids who are just so, so proud of who they are and their backgrounds. And that’s easily my favourite part of the show so far. 

It’s just such a departure from kids refusing to bring “different” lunches to school that weren’t white bread and three pieces of fruit. “Different” lunches meant raised eyebrows and getting mocked on the playground.

But that isn’t the case on Junior Masterchef, because the contestants are so open and supportive of each other. They might not understand different cuisines at first, but they’re eager to learn and that makes all the difference. 

Like when Tiffany presented the judges with a Hungarian Feast during last week’s elimination challenge, complete with nokedli, which she described as a dumpling-type pasta.

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Don’t nok-edli it until you’ve tried it! #JrMasterChefAU #MasterChefAU

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Tiffany crushed the challenge, by the way, and thanked the judges proudly in both English and Hungarian. My heart swelled, mostly because this absolutely ruled and because I was just a tiny bit jealous.

I, and it always, always, always makes me feel so embarrassed to admit it, was too ashamed to learn Indonesian when I was Tiffany’s age.

But watching Junior Masterchef has reminded me that times are changing, because these kids aren’t embarrassed or ashamed of their backgrounds, they’re everything but.

It makes me think of all the other little ones watching at home, who might – for whatever reason – feel what I did when I was a kid: embarrassed, alone, ashamed. And I hope it inspires them to feel stronger and more confident, because someone who looks like them, who has a slightly different accent, is on a mainstream channel, in a main time slot, three times a week on Australian TV. 

And we haven’t even talked about Ben yet.

Ben, who is both chaotic and wholesome, made what he called A Sweet Celebration of Native Ingredients on last night’s episode.

While he cooked, Ben spoke about why he chose native ingredients.

“When I think of my dream dish, I’m really inspired by Aboriginal culture, because it’s the oldest living culture in the world!” he told the camera. “Australia’s Aboriginal people have a lot of connection to the land through all this bush food. I think it should be something that we all recognise and I really want to pay my respects to that in my dish today.”

Twitter summed up our reactions quite nicely.

Junior Masterchef just feels like a little bit of light at the end of this very dark tunnel to me. Not just because it’s great TV, but because those kids, those annoyingly talented and kind kids, are our future.

And that’s more than enough to make me smile.

Junior Masterchef continues Sunday, 7.30pm on Channel 10.