BEN Bolton first saw MasterChef while he was auditioning for this year's junior series.
The Bendigo boy submitted his application at the suggestion of his grandmother, who watched the show.
"My gran's actually a food tech teacher, so she really taught me to cook in the first place," the 10-year-old said.
Ben has come a long way from one of the first meals he remembers preparing for his family.
It was called 'tropical opical' and involved sausage rolls made into a circle with pineapples and sesame seeds.
"It was a good start for a five or six-year-old," Ben said.
His favourite meal to cook these days is steamed bao buns, with a recipe of his own invention.
Ben described them as steamed buns with pork and pickled vegetables inside.
"The first time I ate them was in Albury and I've been developing my recipe ever since I ate them," he said.
"My recipe definitely has changed a lot."
He's happy with where it's at now, describing the buns as "really delicious".
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"I really wanted to meet new people, of course have a lot of fun, test my cooking ability, and just have a new experience," Ben said.
Not having had exposure to MasterChef before applying, Ben's expectations of being involved were to have to cook under a time limit and have judges taste his dishes.
"It was definitely harder than it looks. But, yeah, it was fun," Ben said.
Filming occurred during Melbourne during COVID-19 restrictions.
Ben stayed in the city with his mother while the show was being recorded. They had to get tested for the virus and isolate before Ben could audition.
The rest of the family was supporting Ben from their home in Bendigo.
"It's been a huge thing for the whole family," Mark Bolton, Ben's father, said.
"Everyone has been really supportive and really got on board with it."
Ben said the people in his life had been really excited for him, as they found out.
Even making it through the application process was a triumph.
Ben remembered submitting 12 pages of writing in response to the long and detailed form.
He also had to make and submit a short video, and go through a video call with the producers.
Mark believed the authenticity of Ben's application was one of the reasons he made it through to the auditions.
"He fully did the application himself. They could probably tell it was all done by Ben," Mark said.
"He genuinely has an interest in cooking. It's been a great experience."
Junior MasterChef Australia 2020 premieres on the WIN Network at 7.30pm on October 11.
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