Imagine not only getting to meet renowned multi-Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay but also getting to cook in front of him. Oh, and being only 10 years old.
That’s what a Bellingham student named Colbie did in 2023 as a participant in FOX’s two-night television cooking competition “MasterChef Junior Home for the Holidays.”
Colbie was one of nine young culinary contestants who cooked up Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Lunar New Year, and other holiday recipes in hopes of winning a MasterChef Jr. holiday crown. Their creations were judged by Ramsay, his daughter Tilly Ramsay, award-winning chef Aarón Sánchez, and food writer and chef Daphne Oz. While she didn’t win the competition, just getting chosen for the popular show was a huge win for Colbie. The show can be seen on HULU.
Seattle’s Child asked Colbie about her love of cooking and the her excitement about competing on MasterChef Jr. Here’s what she had to say:
Seattle’s Child: When did you first start cooking?
Colbie: “I first started cooking before I can remember! I was kind of a clingy baby and I always wanted to be with my mom so she started letting me help in the kitchen when I was really small. She would give me little kid-safe knives, and she really encouraged me.”
Seattle’s Child: What is your favorite style of cooking?
Colbie: “I prefer cooking to baking! I feel like cooking is more exploratory and I feel like baking is more just following a recipe and doing it exactly. I like the creativity that comes with cooking and playing with ingredients and flavors.”
Seattle’s Child: What do you love most about being in the kitchen?
Colbie: “To me, food just feels like love. Being with family and friends – either making food or eating food – it’s just the best. I love it when people say “YUM” after they’ve tried something I made.”
Seattle’s Child: Do you think cooking helps with any school subjects?
Colbie: “I think cooking does help with math, because there are measurements and it’s a great way to learn about fractions especially. Kids should be in the kitchen because it’s a world of endless possibilities!”
Seattle’s Child: How did you win your spot on the Ramsey special?
Colbie: “Being on MasterChef Junior has always been my dream, so when my Mom saw the casting notice on Instagram, she asked me if I wanted to apply and I said yes right away! I just went for it!”
Seattle’s Child: Tell me about the day you got the call. Surprised?
Colbie: “I couldn’t believe it — I was so excited! But I wasn’t really shocked exactly, because I knew I had a strong background of holiday traditions and I just really believed that I could make it!”
Seattle’s Child: Are you nervous?
Colbie: “I am a little nervous, but I know I have a real chance to do well. But being in the MasterChef kitchen is a dream come true regardless, so whatever happens, happens! I’m just so proud to be there.”
Seattle’s Child: Do you have siblings and does your family all enjoy cooking as much as you?
Colbie: “I have an older sister named Heidi and really only me and my mom cook. My Dad is pretty bad in the kitchen, and my sister is more of a baker. I do like to barbecue with my Dad and I love baking cupcakes with my sister!”
Seattle’s Child: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about this event?
Colbie: “Gordon Ramsay is nicer than he seems! Daphne Oz is SO nice…she felt like the Mom of the Masterchef Kitchen.”
Seattle’s Child: Who are your biggest cheerleaders?
Colbie: “My family, for sure! I have a huge family and I’m so lucky to have their support.”