By Wendell Hutson
The Fox TV show “MasterChef Junior” is in its fifth season and a Hyde Park youth is among this year’s 40 contestants.
Evan Robinson, 11, will join family, friends and fellow Boy Scouts at a viewing party from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday at the café inside University Church, 5655 S. University Ave. The April 6, episode is a cooking challenge between Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Robinson has been a boy scout for six years and invites the public to join him at the party.
The fourth-grader, whose signature meal is hickory-smoked pork belly, said he developed an interest in cooking when he was 9 years old.
“I’ve always been in the kitchen [for as long as I can remember],” said Robinson said. “Cooking is really fun to do. I get to be myself.”
Robinson said, “Watching the kids cook on MasterChef inspired me…I hope to be able to do the same for other kids.”
His mother, Veronica Robinson, said that sometimes her son would watch a Youtube video on how to prepare meals and then go to work in the kitchen.
“These days I am actually his sous chef more than he is mine,” Veronica Robinson said. “He’s confident in his cooking and I think that’s amazing for someone his age. I can say that he is a better cook than me.”
When Robinson is not at home cooking for his parents and others, he likes to play tennis and video games and do some reading. As far as a career, Robinson said he plans to stay in culinary arts.
“I want to keep cooking and [grow up to] be a chef or a food critic,” he said. “I say a food critic because I like to write.”