10:00am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
'MasterChef' Junior Boss Says Season 2 Will Be 'Supersized'
MasterChef Junior is getting "supersized" for its second season.
"With season two, we wanted to make it even bigger, with bigger challenges, and supersize it somewhat," executive producer Robin Ashbrook tells The Hollywood Reporter. "We are still looking for America's best home cook between the ages of 8 and 13, and along the way we have challenges that are a tremendous amount of fun."
Ashbrook says this season features no shortage of "amazing, talented kids."
"The food level has gone up another notch," he says. "I don't want to give too much away, but we have 8-, 9-, 10-year-olds fileting king-sized salmon. Hand on heart, this season our two finalists in the finale make dishes better than anything we've ever had on MasterChef. It's pretty extraordinary."
Ashbrook adds that producers were able to "cast a wider net" across America for season two. This resulted in contestants from a "bigger cross-section of the country," from Memphis to Chicago to New York, and a multitude of backgrounds.
This season, the challenges will include a pop-up restaurant in Malibu — something that the MasterChef franchise had not previously tackled. "The kids ran the kitchen with their own flair," he says.
In addition, judge Gordon Ramsay's mother makes an appearance. "She's fantastic," Ashbrook adds. "I challenge anyone to watch this show and not be on a roller coaster of laughing and crying. I can't watch a frame without it giving me a smile. If this show does that for families, which is my hope, then the success will continue."
MasterChef Junior, from Shine America, premieres in its new time slot at 8 p.m. Tuesday on Fox with Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot returning as judges. Watch a clip from the premiere, which is exclusive to The Hollywood Reporter, above.