Avani Shah entered MasterChef Junior as one of the youngest contestants in the field. However, she made it extremely far on the way to the top 10, and proved that her overall experience didn’t matter. She worked hard, was creative, and had the right mindset.
Unfortunately, we saw her get eliminated on Thursday’s new episode following a challenged themed around Gordon Ramsay and his famed beef wellington dish. That may have been a hard pill to swallow, but Avani is in great spirits during this exclusive exit interview! Take a look below to see further some of what she had to say about making it into the top ten this season.
CarterMatt – How proud are you of yourself for making it to the top 10?
Avani Shah – Considering the level of talent of all the junior chefs on the show, it was a huge honor to be among the top 10. I tried my best and am proud of myself for taking chances and staying self confident throughout the process. I am lucky to share this experience with great friends and can’t wait to cheer on the remaining chefs.
How challenging was it being the youngest contestant left?
While it is true that I didn’t have as much cooking experience as some of the older contestants, I made up for that by working hard and having a good attitude in the kitchen (especially during team challenges). There were some times where I couldn’t reach things in the kitchen or things were too heavy for me, but I was lucky to have some of the older junior chefs help me out on those occasions.
Even though you were eliminated, did you enjoy getting to make one of Chef Ramsay’s signature dishes in the beef wellington?
To be honest, I can’t say I loved the experience because it got me eliminated. But that said, it was an honor to cook one of Gordon Ramsay’s signature dishes for him. I learned a ton from Chef Ramsay and I will take those lessons with me for the rest of my life.
Looking back, what challenge this season is the one you enjoyed the most?
Obviously, the blow torch challenge because that’s the one that I won! I had fun using the blow torch on three different ingredients – bananas, marshmallows and pecans. I also like cooking desserts and pastries the most, so it was nice to be able to win with my chocolate ganache tart.
After going through this experience, do you have any goal in mind as to what you want to do with food for the rest of your life?
When I grow up, I’d like to have a bakery called Avani’s Sweet Treats. My culinary inspirations are Christina Tosi and Candace Nelson. Both women are not only excellent pastry chefs, but have also been successful business women through their food empires. I want to study business in college, and follow in their footsteps. In the nearer term, I want to start up a YouTube channel, but you’ll have to wait to watch what cool things I have in store for that!
Hungry for more MasterChef Junior coverage?
You can get some further exit interviews, plus episode reviews, previews, and more, by heading over to the link here right now! (Photo: Fox.)