Bryson McGlynn vies to be Gordon Ramsay’s MasterChef Junior


Bryson McGlynn, a sixth-grader from Opelika, was joined by his friends and family at O’Town to watch his debut on the cooking competition show MasterChef Junior.

OPELIKA — Sixth-grader Bryson McGlynn of Opelika is competing on the ninth season of the television show MasterChef Junior, currently airing on FOX network.
Bryson developed a fascination with cooking, and at the age of four he regularly joined his father in the kitchen, where his passion for cooking blossomed. By the time he reached age nine, he was participating in cooking contests that further refined his talents. Recently, at age 11, the promising young chef stepped into the national spotlight as a contestant on MasterChef Junior, where he found himself alongside world-renowned Chef Gordon Ramsay.
The journey to the show began with a rigorous interview process, involving several preliminary interviews. then a week of auditions. This challenging process served as a gateway for Bryson to showcase his culinary prowess in the weeks to come, as he was able to incorporate into the challenges his distinctive cooking styles and unique flair.
The filming for this season of MasterChef Junior extended over a period of three months, from October through December. Bryson’s father, Micheal McGlynn, a music teacher for Opelika City Schools, expressed gratitude that the show’s producers provided on-site teachers at the sets.
“They are firm believers that kids must continue their educations while filming,” he said. “The children would receive instruction from teachers for six days a week.”
While filming, Bryson said he developed enduring friendships with the 11 other children competing for a prized apron.He said he derived equal enjoyment from the filming process of the show as he did from spending time with fellow contestants during off-hours.
“After every challenge, us kids would gather at night and engage in activities such as swimming in the indoor pool or hanging out at the nearby mall,” he said.
Bryson worked alongside world-renowned Chef Gordan Ramsay and described him as highly approachable and well-versed.
“He pushed us hard and was very passionate about MasterChef Junior,” said Bryson.
Bryson said working with Ramsay provided contestants with the opportunity to cultivate a sense of responsibility, improve their time management skills, showcase their cooking skills and learn the importance of perseverance and innovation in the culinary world.
On the first show of the season, which aired Monday, March 4, Bryson and the other children were tasked with choosing an emoji-decorated cookie and then creating a dish inspired by their choice.
Chef Ramsay’s daughter, Tilly, is a judge on the show alongside her father this season. In introducing Bryson, she said he is “someone who cooks way beyond their age.”
After learning he was a Top 3 Finalist in the show’s first cooking challenge of the season, Bryson said, “I was so nervous, but it feels so good to be in the top three, and I hope this steak brings home the win.”
The finalists were all inspired by the “cool” emoji wearing sunglasses. The other two finalists were 10-year-old Remy from Hollywood, Florida, who prepared “Sunshine State on a Plate” consisting of lemon-roasted chicken with carrots and mushrooms, carrot top chimichurri and mashed potatoes; and 11-year-old Michael from New Smyrna, Florida, who impressed the judges with his shrimp linguini with green pesto sauce.
Bryson, whose nickname is “Cheese Curd,” was called into the spotlight to explain the dish he prepared.
“I got the cool sunglass emoji, and in my opinion, I think my dad is really cool, he taught me how to cook steaks,” Bryson said, describing his inspiration for his dish to the judges. “I made a ribeye cap with white truffle potatoes with Manchego cheese on top, broccolini and a compound butter.”
“Let’s get one thing clear,” said Ramsay. “That ribcap is cooked beautifully, the potatoes crispy, broccolini [cooked] a little bit over for me, but man, you’re cooking with confidence, aren’t you? Well done.”
“I actually really like the way you did the broccolini,” said Tilly. “I like it cooked like that, and those potatoes are nice and fluffy on the inside. Really delicious.”
“Everything’s great — cheese is awesome, butter’s awesome, your potatoes were truly perfect,” said judge and television chef Daphne Oz. “Clearly you really came to show us some beautiful cooking, and I am very excited to see you expand that palate even further.”
“It’s like the tower of power of meat — look at that thing, you’ve got a beautiful sear on the outside and those potatoes just look glorious,” said celebrity chef and judge Aaron Sanchez. “What you’ve put forward here on this plate — it’s rich, it’s deep, it has a lot of those wonderful flavors, it’s honest.”
“We all agree that the winning home cook tonight is Bryson,” announced Ramsay. “That ribcap was exceptional. You really know your meat, young man. You and your family have won an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas. You’re going to stay inside that beautiful Harrah’s Las Vegas Resort and have the most amazing dinner at my newest restaurant, Ramsay’s Kitchen.”
“It feels so good — I just won the first challenge of MasterChef Jr., like, I’m going to Las Vegas,” said Bryson at the conclusion of the show. “This Cheese Curd is not leaving the building.”
MasterChef Junior airs on FOX network every Monday at 7 p.m. The Observer will provide weekly recaps of Bryson’s progress.