Mikey DiTomasso had a heck of a fun run on MasterChef Junior this season. He got to make it very close to the end of the season, he cooked a wide variety of different dishes, and beyond all of this he was the first person to win the Golden Apron! This allowed him to not have to cook during one of the final team challenges of the entire season — and, in turn, spend time with some former winners.
In the interview below Mike opens up about that experience with the former winners, his time in the competition, and what he wants to do in food next.
CarterMatt – How cool was it to have the golden apron?
Mikey – It was incredibly overwhelming in a good way. I respected it and wore it with a lot of dignity and treated it as if it was a brick of gold. It was shiny smooth and sensational. To have the opportunity to win the first Golden Apron was a dream come true and a historic memory that I will always cherish and never forget ’til the day I die.
Did you get a chance to talk with a lot of the contestants during the team challenge?
The team challenges were completely extraordinary and unique, but at the same time intense and full of tension. Due to the mixed emotions, it varied if you were going to talk with fellow contestants or not. Now if you were a team captain you were the leader and you should have taken charge. If not, someone else would have to step up which causes drama and confusion. People did help each other, though and we would chat here and there. When we did talk, it would mostly be cooking related or giving advice to someone else.
How happy were you to make it as far as you did this season?
Personally I really think I earned a spot to go to the finale. I was shocked, surprised, and upset that they picked me to go home. It did not feel right. Although it was a harsh ending to my run, I was still very proud of the work that I put in. It was just amazing to even have the opportunity to compete. In the end, I was overjoyed to make it to the Top 5, and I will keep pursuing my cooking passion for as long as possible.
You got some praise from the judges this season for your leadership skills. Was that something you knew you had coming into the season?
Outside of the show I’ve always strived to be a magnificent leader, whether its sports, school, or other arenas. I felt confident about this as being one of my best traits coming into the show and was proud to have been able to demonstrate this during the season. I’m so excited the judges saw that and that they praised me for my unique strength. I credit my parents and coaches for teaching and demonstrating leadership qualities and skills.
What was your favorite dish you made this season?
Throughout the season, I had the opportunity to make many new dishes and take risks that appear to have impressed the judges and my fans. One dish that stood out to me the most was my chocolate hazelnut cheesecake with a chocolate ganache and toasted hazelnuts. I not only enjoyed making this but also humbled by the evaluation. To me, it was one of a kind and had my own flair on it, which made it special and one of my favorite dishes I had made this season.
What is your food dream moving forward in life?
I’m still a kid as you may know, though I have some pretty cool ideas for the future, such as: a make-your-own pasta bar, owning a restaurant, be a host of my own show, be a food critic, or a food experimenter. If I were to do one of these things I would create them in a new way that is very special to me, my family and friends. I hope for a bright future and that I can take my love for the art of cooking to the next level and exceed expectations as I move forward.
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