Exclusive Interview: Master Chef Junior Finalist Zac Kara Chats About Being A Self Taught Chef, Gord
I happen to love any show with the amazing Chef Gordon Ramsay. So when I was presented the opportunity to chat with the 14 year-old Chef Zac Kara of Master Chef Junior it was my pleasure. This 14 year culinary connoseuir was everything beyond amazing as we bonded over our love for burgers and steaks. And chatted about being a chef at the age of 14 and having the chance to become a final four finalist during Chef Master Junior. Check out what Chef Zac Kara had to say about his experience and more.
JR: You are a 14- year- old Chef. Do you feel like a normal teenager?
Zac Kara: I am actually not a regular teenager. People are really surprised that I can cook and also are surprised that I am a chef because most 14 year olds aren’t in the kitchen cooking. Not only can I cook I can cook really delicious meals.
JR: Being as though you are a 14 year old Chef, How did your mom trust you in the kitchen and cooking on a stove?
ZK: I started cooking when I was 11 years old.But before I actually really got into cooking I was never in the kitchen, If I was in the kitchen I would be scared to touch the stove. If there was a pan on the stove I would be nervous to come to next to it. I guess my mom was like a daredevil to actually let me use a knife and use a stove. So big kudos to her.
JR: So you are a self-taught Chef, How did this began?
ZK: So actually I didn’t know how to cook in the beginning but I was inspired because I use to watch a lot of the cooking shows. Also my mom was a big inspiration because she would cook incredible meals, and then I would watch the chef on tv and wonder how they would do things and my mom actually started to show me a few things. I enrolled myself into culinary school and worked really hard and cooking everyday
JR: What made you compete with Chef Gordon Ramsey for Master Chef Junior?
ZK: I remember my sister telling me about the show Master Chef and that their was a Master Chef Junior so I watched the first season and instantly was inspired. I started to wonder If i could get on the show which really prompted me to cook more and cueing camera shy I was worried. I was always goofy on camera with my family but always shy ordering and talking to people but thats how I got on the show.
JR: Describe your feelings once you found out you were selected to compete on Master Chef Junior
ZK: You know you would think I would be super excited jumping up and down. I actually was really shocked that I was selected because I had watched all 3 seasons and saw all the other chefs and I knew I would meet Gordon Ramsey and stuff but it was really cool
JR: So of course on television it seems like Chef Gordon Ramsay is super dramatic is his persona really that theatrical.
ZK: I will be truthfully honest, he is such a nice person. Off camera he would make jokes and make us laugh he is just really a funny guy. I think on camera he has to up his personality and energy because its tv, but he is really an incredible guy.
JR: You were selected for the show and made it to the final four of the competition. How did you and your family feel?
ZK: It was truly shocking, I remember I am in the top four which means i have a really good chance of winning this.It fet so good just knowing that it could possibly happen and my family was so hype and excited for me. So that experience was just awesome and its something I will not forget.
JR: What is one of your go to meals that never gets old to you?
ZK: I will be honest I love burgers and I am a steak guy. It doesn’t matter where I go I always order a burger. Sometimes my family will say “do not order a burger” but it’s either that or a steak. One of my meals I actually made was a 10 oz seer filet mignon with a zucchini puree roasted parsnips and a reduction. And it so delicious. Before Master Chef I use to order my steak well done but once on the competition we would have to prepare the steak medium rare perfect so now I order my steak medium well.
JR: The holidays will soon be approaching, whats one of your favorite holiday dishes you love to eat?
ZK: One of them was a thanksgiving dish.I like turkey but I also remember the next day the turkey not being as good as the first day because it drys out really quick. I like to buy a cornish hen because its a lot smaller and it’s more moist and it doesn’t take a long time to cook. So I prepare the cornish hen with sautéed carrots and walnut brussel sprouts and homemade gravy.
JR: Do you have any cool upcoming projects that we should watch out for?
Yes, I have a YouTube channel “Cooking With Zac”. But I also like to show my goofy side on the channel so I would do challenges to make it really funny, so I have those cool videos as well so I can still be funny. I am also starting another cooking segment on the channel so thats going to be really cool because I am really excited about that.
I also will be on the upcoming Master Chef cruise in November its a 7 day cruise which Im really excited about. It will be me and other Master Chef Junior contestants along with the Master Chef adult winners and previous contestants. It will be an up and close experience and a bunch of demos so I am super excited to be there.
Keep up with Zac and all his upcoming projects via YouTube and social media @zac_kara