Top Chef Junior Season 1: Where Are The Young Chefs Now?

While cooking shows provide a lot of entertainment for the viewers, the contestants usually have to work swiftly in highly competitive situations to produce an exceptional dish that judges love. ‘Top Chef Junior’ still gets an innocent touch as it features young chefs competing in a reality television show. A spinoff of the popular ‘Top Chef,’ season 1 premiered in 2017 and introduced 12 talented young chefs in the age group of 11-13 battling it out for a prize of $50,000. Many years later, their fans still wonder about them and discuss what they might be up to.

Rahanna Bisseret Martinez is Now an Author

Bagging a spot as a runner-up in the final round of season 1, 13-year-old Rahanna always managed to impress the judges with her creativity and attention to detail. Being one of the finalists opened up many doors for her, and she started working for fine dining restaurants across the world and entered more cooking competitions. She is currently in her second year at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, New York, while she is permanently based with her family in Oakland, California. While growth, experience and learning have always been on her agenda, she also loves traveling and makes sure to document her journey in different parts of the world.

She is currently basking in the glory of her first book, ‘Flavor + Us: Cooking For Everyone’, which released in May 2023. It’s all about food inspired by her Haitian and Mexican heritage and the experience she has gained so far. The farmers market lover is excited to see what the future holds for her and has also dedicated her book to all women of color who have inspired her and since she feels like their stories need to be told.

Owen Pereira is Cooking Pulled Pork Sliders

Winning the first-ever season of ‘Top Chef Junior’ was more surprising to young Owen than anyone else, but it gave him the direction he needed. His love for food when he started cooking at the ripe age of three has only grown with every new experience he gains. With his winnings of $50,000 tucked in a trust fund in 2017, Owen started discussing his ambitions of owning his own three-Michelin-star French restaurant soon.

After winning the show, Owen decided to focus on getting experience and exposure by working with some of the best chefs in the country. The Baltimore-based young chef knew right after the show that culinary schools weren’t his path, and started honing his skills by gaining work experience. He currently works at a brewery in Baltimore itself, M8 Beer, where he’s working on the menu and serving his pulled pork sliders. Owen’s net worth is currently believed to be around $5 million.

Milo Fleming Still Loves Cooking

The easy and fun-loving contestant on the show who handled the pressure well and loved to experiment with flavors finally won third place on the show. The road wasn’t easy for Milo, with some game-changing moments of bad luck, but Milo has risen above it. From getting his elevated nachos recipe on Buzzfeed to competing with other young, talented chefs in stressful environments, he has done it all and proved to be a qualified young chef.

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Milo went on to host a web series in 2019 called Food Eats Kid on Universal Kids. Interestingly, he even took a detour from cooking in the same year to design clothes with a brand called Olim Clothing, which also featured in MN Fashion Week. But his love for cooking is still alive, and he regularly posts about cooking at home and conducting backyard pop-up dinners with friends. He has also been vocal about his political views on social media and is willing to collaborate with others for cooking.

Maxine Sutton is Now a Model and Actor

An animal-loving young contestant who loves to make a good home-cooked meal, Maxine was eliminated in the seventh episode when a task to use an ingredient that glows turned out to be the last one for her. But that didn’t stop her from facing the camera or continuing cooking. Maxine has been volunteering as a chef to feed the needy and meeting her friends and winners from Season 1. The Los Angeles-based young chef has also delved into acting and modeling now, and has starred in plenty of short films as a lead and has even worked in commercials, theatre and plenty of other television shows.

How Did Fuller Goldsmith Die?

We are saddened to share that Fuller Goldsmith passed away in October 2021 due to cancer at the age of 17. The news was shared by the production company Magical Elves on social media. The post paid tribute to Fuller with the words, “He was an incredible chef and the strongest kid we’ve ever met.” Fuller won Food Network’s ‘Chopped Junior’ and was a favorite contestant at ‘Top Chef Junior Season 1’ till he was forced to withdraw due to health reasons. Based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Fuller was always driven and passionate and was even working part-time at a restaurant despite overcoming cancer three times at that point. His death at such a young age has devastated many chefs in the industry and all his followers who were rooting for him.

Kenzie Mills Is Working With Many Chefs Now

From Midlothian, Texas, Chef Z Mills started working with commercial kitchens even before they joined Top Chef Junior. Even after leaving the show in episode 8, they have kept their love for food alive and continued to indulge their followers with the Texan flair they bring to the dishes. Becoming a ‘Chopped Junior’ champion and judge, they have worked with many chefs, contributed to the community, and actively advocated their passion for cooking. They continue to participate in world food championships now and might be working with Hachie Culinary now.

Katelyn Rickert Is Pursuing a Course Now

Katelyn started cooking when she was just eight and learned from her family’s private chef. She brought the same passion with her to Top Chef Junior, but was eliminated quite early in episode 2 itself. Even when she left the show due to an incident with chunks of pineapple in her taco, the young chef from New Orleans, Louisiana was determined to improve herself to take on Mexican cuisine later in life. She is currently pursuing a course at Arnaud’s Restaurant in New Orleans, and is happy with her partner Michael Vocke and regularly posts pictures with him.

Jasmine Bell Is Currently Studying

Having learned the techniques of working in the kitchen and solving problems at a very young age, Jasmine was among the top five contestants on the show. From that young age itself, she wanted to be a culinary and pastry chef. The young chef from Charlotte, North Carolina, continued to pursue her baking dreams even after leaving the show by baking for orders and with her mother. She recently graduated and is currently studying at North Carolina A&T State University. She also loves engaging her many followers on Instagram with her posts about her life at the university and the growth she experiences.

Henry Wieser is Still Passionate About Food

A young chef from Naperville, Illinois, with big dreams, Henry managed to come in the top four contestants of the show, forming a strong friendship with winner Owen. Henry had already attended culinary classes to hone his skills before entering the show and was excited about how different ingredients come together to make a delicious meal. Henry and Owen collectively plan to someday open a three-star Michelin restaurant of their own. They did recently announce a pop-up restaurant in Baltimore called Idiom Restaurant, but it’s not clear what happened to it. Henry is still passionate about food and looking forward to pursuing his dreams.

Max Gerber Likes to Keep His Life Private

The young Max from New York was always passionate about learning how things work in the kitchen form a very young age, which had a lot to do with his love for chemistry and watching ingredients interact. He was on the show only till episode 3, but managed to establish true friendships with his colleagues and the other young chefs at work. After leaving the show, Max has still preferred to keep his life private, and it is unclear what he is up to at the moment.

Fernando Valdés Nicholson Is a Theatre Actor

Another Illinois boy like Henry, Fernando, was sadly eliminated from the show in the first round itself. But his passion for science and math at that age did not go unnoticed. Since then, he has traveled the world and acted on stage in several theatre productions. Now, he is following his passion and learning more about diseases, which is evident from his recent visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Audrey Brust is Cooking Gluten-Free Dishes Now

This young chef from Zachary, Louisiana, was with the contestants till her elimination in the fifth episode and specialized in Southern comfort food. After leaving the show, Audrey has been busy cooking and baking and has made no effort to hide her love for gluten-free dishes. She was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and instead of worrying about it, she made it her weapon and now advertises her delicious gluten-free dishes to all her followers. She is even participating in cooking competitions now and plating her creations beautifully.

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