When Che Spiotta, from Boiceville, N.Y., emerged winner of MasterChef Junior Season 7 last night, he paid a poignant tribute to his late father, Jason Spiotta.
MasterChef Junior Season 7 premiered on March 12, 2019, with judges Gordon Ramsay, Christina Tosi, and Aarón Sanchez. Twenty four highly talented young cooks between the ages of 8 and 13 contested for the grand prize of $100,000 and a trophy.
Spiotta, Malia Brauer, and Ivy Angst were the Top 3 contestants who reached the series finale on Tuesday night.
Spiotta, a seventh-grader at Onteora Middle School, beat Ivy Angst from Atlanta, Georgia, and Malia Brauer from New Hall, Santa Clarita, California, to win the trophy and a $100,000 check.
Che emerged as the winner after a grueling two-part finale in which he and his fellow finalists were tasked with cooking an appetizer, entrée, and dessert.
Che’s appetizer consisted of prawns, cuttlefish and Calabrian chili with Lemon Vinaigrette, Parmesan crisp, and polenta.
For his entrée, Che cooked veal saltimbocca, fingerling potatoes, spring pea ragout, morels, and mushroom jus. For dessert, he prepared gluten-free chocolate, olive oil cake, orange glaze, fresh ricotta cream, and pistachio tuile.
He said he was happy to be on the show because it opened up new career opportunities for him. Although he was still aspiring to open a restaurant of his own that specializes in Italian cuisine, he would also love to have his own cooking show in the future.
“I definitely want to have a restaurant at some point in my life, but being on the show, I realized how much I love cooking shows and being on TV, so I am thinking of having my own cooking show one day would be a really cool thing to do,” Che said.
Big ups to Che for being crowned #MasterChefJunior these kids this season were unreal. To think that some kids between 8-13 can cook the way these young folks do is unreal. Big ups to Che. And to my two favorite @MasterChefJrFOX contestants ever #Ivy and #Reid
— Allan (@Air_Ickson21) June 5, 2019
I predict Che will have his own cooking show on the food network. #MasterChefJunior
— Josephine (@notmyname02) June 5, 2019
#MasterChefJunior was so intense tonight
— Just Tati (@KIDDTATI) June 5, 2019
Adults could learn a lot from how the kids in Master Chef Jr. support each other while competing at the highest level.
Awesome talent exceeded only by their character. #MasterChefJunior
— Robert Squires (@RobSciFiWriter) June 5, 2019
Che pays poignant tribute to late dad Jason Spiotta
Che said the three dishes told the story of his gluten intolerance and reflected his Italian heritage.
“If my dad could see me right now, he would be so proud of me,” he said.
After Che secured a spot in the finale by winning the Mystery Box Challenge in the season’s penultimate episode, he said his dishes paid tribute to his late father, Jason Spiotta.
According to Che, it was his father who helped foster his love for cooking and taught him how to cook. Jason also taught Che Italian recipes and how to prepare gluten-free meals to help him cope with his gluten intolerance, according to Daily Freeman.
Jason Spiotta of Cold Brook Road, born on October 30, 1969, passed away on August 20, 2015. He was survived by his wife Elizabethanne, and sons Jackson, Che, and Cosimo.
Some of the recipes Che learned from his father include tomato sauce, peppers, sausage, and Caprese salad.