If you’ve ever watched Masterchef Junior or Chopped Junior, you know there’s something adorable and hilarious about watching an eight-year-old using regular-sized kitchen appliances. The decidedly adorable cheftestants stand on stools to reach the countertops and often need help opening products or reaching kitchen gadgets off high shelves. Their confidence is endearing instead of egotistical and unlike their adult counterparts, they never fight with one another. Instead, they help each other, share ingredients, and are even occasionally brought to tears when their peers get eliminated. Given the extreme cuteness of these kid-chef shows (we should mention that they're always remarkably good cooks, too), it's no surprise that Top Chef is now getting in on the young chef reality show trend.
According to a press release, Universal Kids, NBCU's network launching this fall, will debut a new series dubbed Top Chef Junior in October of 2017. The show is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It will feature young chefs, ages 9-14, and some of the most beloved Top Chef challenges will have dedicated episodes. Yes, even the kid cheftestants will have to battle it out on "Restaurant Wars."
While the premise is the same, one difference will be the judges. Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and Padma Lakshmi won't be judging the younger version of the show. Instead it will be hosted by Vanessa Lachey and chef Curtis Stone. There's no word yet on whether the original judges will make any guest appearances, but we'd really love to see Colicchio give his speech about proper seasoning to a group of ten-year-olds.
As for the rest of the details, we'll just have to wait and watch. Though, we're hoping Top Chef Junior finds a new tagline for sending the younger chefs home. Somehow, we can't imagine Lachey or Stone saying, "Please pack your knives and go," to a group of enthusiastic children.