The season 7 finale of Masterchef Junior aired June 4 on Fox. Competing in the finals were contestants Ivy, Malia, and Che, who proved themselves throughout the season with skillful dishes that only improved as the pre-teen aspiring chefs learned and challenged themselves in the Masterchef kitchen. At the end of the two-hour finale, Che Spiotta was named the season 7 winner of the Masterchef Junior title and $100,000 prize.
Che, at 11 years old, was the oldest and only male competitor in the finals. He is from Boiceville in Upstate New York; according to Parade Magazine, heading into the Masterchef Junior kitchen, his signature dish was “Pan-Seared Salmon with Celeriac & Potato Purée & Sautéed Leeks with Kale Avocado Salad.”
Here’s what you should know about Che Spiotta:
Che Learned to Cook From His Late Father
In the season’s penultimate episode, Che was the first to earn a finale spot after he won the Mystery Box challenge. His dish was a tribute to his late father, Jason Spiotta, and the dishes he cooks for his mom and two brothers.
Che learned his love of cooking from his father, who passed away suddenly in 2015. According to the Daily Freeman, Jason taught Che to cook to help him with his gluten intolerance when he was 4 years old, and put an emphasis on teaching him Italian recipes that would connect him to his heritage. Some of the recipes passed down to him by his father include traditional tomato sauce, sausage and peppers, and Caprese salad.
Throughout the finale, the judges complimented Che on the “Modern Italian” cuisine he offered in all three of his dishes. For the dessert round, he served a gluten-free dark chocolate olive oil cake, a wonderful tribute to the flavors and technique his father inspired in him as a young chef.
He Shares His Dishes & Recipes Online
When not promoting season 7 of the junior television cooking competition, Che uses his social media to post photos and recipes of some of his favorite dishes to cook. He currently has over 2,000 Instagram followers, with whom he has shared lemon cheesecake, pancakes, chilaquiles, and more.
He also has a website, CheSpiotta.com, where he sells merchandise and shares some of his favorite recipes. In his bio on the site, he says “I love to cook all types of food – from my classic risotto to my Dad’s sauce to my eggnog crème brûlée.” Now that he is a Masterchef Junior titleholder, expect “Team Che” merchandise to grow in popularity and for Spiotta to share even more recipes and culinary experiences online and through social media.
He Plays Soccer & Loves the Outdoors
In addition to being a talented young culinary mind and middle school student, he is also an athletic and active pre-teen. His website bio says “When I am not cooking, I get a kick out of soccer and being outside camping and playing in the river with my 2 brothers.” It also reveals that he is on three different soccer teams.
It makes sense that the skills Che learned through playing sports have helped him stay competitive on the show while also being a team player with his fellow contestants. Che told Daily Freeman that his favorite experience on Masterchef Junior was getting to be team captain during a challenge and that he is “still friends with every single person that was on the show.”