Gordon Ramsay too mean on ‘MasterChef Junior’? Alabama boy says chef was ‘really nice to the kids’

If you’ve been watching “MasterChef Junior” this season, you know that Alabama’s Bryson McGlynn has been feeling the heat.

The young grill master from Auburn is among the Top 7 finalists on Season 9 of the TV series, but he’s experienced some tough moments in the kitchen. Bryson, 12, burned his hand while struggling with a hot, heavy pan on an episode called “Globetrotters,” for example. And during the most recent episode, “Magic Castle,” the boy heard a few harsh words from Gordon Ramsay, the notoriously fiery chef who leads the judging panel.

Gordon Ramsay too mean on 'MasterChef Junior'? Alabama boy says chef was 'really  nice to the kids' - al.com

The boy nicknamed “Cheese Curd” is in it to win it, however, and viewers in his home state fully expect the talented cook to rebound on the next episode, which airs on April 15. (Season 9 of the FOX reality series has been filmed in advance, and the network is skipping its usual Monday episodes for two weeks.)

Bryson, the son of the son of Mike and Shannon McGlynn, actually traveled to California in fall 2023 to film the new season, with his father in tow. They’re not allowed to reveal how Bryson ultimately fared on “MasterChef Junior,” but we do know that a prize of $100,000 is at stake, along with a trophy and bragging rights.

Gordon Ramsay too mean on 'MasterChef Junior'? Alabama boy says chef was 'really  nice to the kids' - al.com

During a recent phone interview with AL.com, Bryson talked about what it was like to compete on the show, including his feelings about cooking for Ramsay. The first part of our interview was published on March 4, just before Season 9 made its debut. Now, as we wait for the next episode of “MasterChef Junior,” here are a few more insights from Bryson.

How would you describe this season of “MasterChef Junior”?

Bryson McGlynn: I definitely think this is the best, most fun season, messiest and just best season.

What’s it like to cook for Gordon Ramsay? Was he nice? Not nice? Was he strict?

He was most definitely really nice to the kids. I’ve always said, he’s really passionate about what he does. It was definitely really cool (to cook for him.) He’s really passionate about what he does, and he expected a lot.

"MasterChef Junior" judges for Season 9
From left, Gordon Ramsay, Tilly Ramsay, Daphne Oz and Aarón Sánchez are the judges for Season 9 of “MasterChef Junior.” Tilly Ramsay, 22, a new judge this season, is the daughter of Gordon Ramsay.(FOX photo)

Gordon Ramsay’s daughter, Tilly Ramsay, is a judge on the show this season. What was it like to cook for her?

She was really nice, and it was definitely fun to have two Ramsays on the show.

Who’s your favorite judge on the show?

I loved all of them, but I think my favorite was probably Aarón Sánchez, because he was one of the first judges I actually met, and me and him have something in common. He puts his different twist on his stuff, and so do I.

Who was your favorite contestant on the show?

That’s really hard, but I think all the kids were really my favorite. You can’t really pick a favorite. You’re out there for only a couple of months, only know these kids for a couple of months. We built such a close bond, you can’t really pick a favorite.

We know you love to cook, but what about those moments when things got tough during the filming?

Every home cook feels really passionate about what they cook. I’ve always felt like I did good, but I’ve never felt like, “This is the best thing ever,” because I don’t want to have my expectations so high. But I felt like, when I was out there (filming the show), my expectations were really high, and I tried to meet them. I felt really passionate about what I was doing. … There were definitely some curveballs.

How did you feel about the team challenges?

They were definitely different. All the team had different parts, and it’s not like it depends only on you. You’re not the only one that has to make those decisions. They were definitely the hardest challenges, because you had to, if one person on the team didn’t do something, you had to push through, and it was stressful.

Did you get homesick while filming the series in California? Your dad was with you, but you were away from Alabama for weeks.

My dad asked me one night in the hotel room, “Hey are you getting homesick and are you missing mom?” I said, “I can’t really think about that. I have a really big job that I have to do right now.”

Did you sleep well at night in the hotel or were you up worrying all night?

Definitely, I did (sleep well) at night, because it was stressful. Sometimes, the best way to wind down from a challenge was to go to the pool and hang out with all the contestants.

What’s your favorite thing to cook?

My favorite thing to cook is probably a Cajun surf ‘n’ turf, which is a ribeye steak with a Cajun compound butter and a Cajun shrimp scampi.

Is there anything you don’t like about cooking?

Everything’s cool about cooking. (Bryson’s father, who also was on the phone, chimed in at this point: “The dishes! You don’t like to clean the dishes. The cleanup.”)

Now that you’re on TV, are you ready to sign autographs and take selfies with fans? Are people spotting you in public and saying, “Hey, there’s Cheese Curd”?

We were walking through Publix and there were people who actually noticed me, and one person actually wanted a picture. And that was really cool.

Would you do another cooking show?

Most definitely, because it was really fun building that bond with everybody.

Do you think cooking will be a career or a hobby for you?

I’ll probably go to different culinary schools, to try to improve on different things … It’s definitely right now a hobby, but it’ll hopefully grow into a career. Over the next few months, I’m going to explore different cultures of food in different countries.

Would you encourage kids to get in the kitchen and cook, if they haven’t done it yet?

Yes, most definitely. To me, it’s a stress reliever, and honestly, it’s a lot of fun.

What would you say to kids who are watching you on TV every week, who might want to start cooking?

Just explore different passions, try to learn what you love, and of course if it’s cooking, try to expand your palate, try to learn different techniques. And just have fun.

If you watch: “MasterChef Junior” airs on Mondays at 7 p.m. CT on FOX, and streams the following day on Hulu.

Bryson McGlynn on "MasterChef Junior"
Auburn’s Bryson McGlynn, 12, is one of 12 home cooks competing on Season 9 of “MasterChef Junior.” The winner takes home a trophy and $100,000 prize.(Photo by Greg Gayne/FOX)

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