The MasterChef Junior contestants may not have entered high school yet, but theses kids already know how to whip together a bouillabaisse or some foie gras, no sweat (and how to pronounce those dishes, which might be equally as difficult). Sure, everyone vying for this season's win is between just eight and 13 years old, but they're no amateurs in the kitchen. Watching these competitors show off their chops is impressive. It also makes me reflect on how little I've accomplished in life, considering I'm almost twice as old as some of the contestants and yet have no skills that could land me a gig on reality TV. In addition to a pretty cool trophy, the MasterChef Junior kids are also competing for $100,000 in prize money. Not too shabby for tweens who can't even drive themselves to the grocery store yet.
When I was their age, I seriously doubt I could have fathomed how much I could buy for 100 grand — hell, I have a hard time contemplating that much cash now. So, to aid the eventual winner in his or her post-show spending spree, I've compiled a list of items no culinarily-inclined pre-teen could resist. Easy Bake Oven not included.
The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook
So, full disclosure: I am not a child (surprise!), but I do own this cookbook, because Harry Potter remains a vital part of my daily existence and because I sometimes makes impractical Amazon purchases. The eventual winner of MasterChef Junior Season 2 will be too young to remember when the first HP books came out, but they were definitely around for most of the movies premieres. So they'll appreciate a Harry Potter cookbook that can teach them how to make Pumpkin Pasties, Knickerbocker Glory, and other wizarding food. Heck, for 100K, the winner could hire the Wizarding World of Harry Potter executive chef Steven Jayson to whip up some Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, or maybe some Chocolate Frogs, for them personally.
A Sweet Lunchbox
The kid who wins MasterChef Junior will probably have something more interesting for lunch each day than old standbys like peanut butter and jelly or Lunchables (ahh, delicious, disgusting Lunchables). But no matter if they prepare a meal worthy of three Michelin stars, or just stick to a sandwich with the crusts cut off, the winner will still need to carry their food to school. So why not indulge in a swagged out lunchbox? $100,000 will buy you some serious jewels, so may I suggest a box studded with Swarovski crystals? Or maybe one made out of pure amber? Etsy sells some boxes for over $500, if the winner needs ideas.
Enough Chocolate to Help Them Recover from Gordon Ramsey's "Constructive Criticism"
There may not be enough chocolate in all the world. I'd suggest starting with one 18-wheeler full, and going from there.