Junior chef earns spot among top six

Abby Major

Abby Major might as well be hiding a magic wand among her cooking utensils.

The Winchester 8-year-old, one of the contestants on this season of “MasterChef Junior,” transformed two ingredients into one of the night’s best dishes.

Abby was left with only two ingredients after flopping at the sunny-side-up egg challenge that opened Tuesday night’s TV episode on Fox. In comparison, the other seven contestants had between four and 10 ingredients to work with.

Abby, who said she wants to open a “restaurant-slash-vet clinic” called Horses and Courses, prepared a plate of broiled salmon and asparagus cooked five ways.

Celebrity chef and judge Gordon Ramsay, seeing the asparagus, joked: “Looks like I’ll be having a fluorescent time in the bathroom later.”

Upon slicing into the filet, his jokes were replaced with awe.

“This salmon is perfect, it’s pink and it’s glistening and it’s perfect,” he said. “…You sound like a chef, you cook like a chef and you’re confident, but you have every reason to be confident.”

Judge Joe Bastianich agreed with Ramsay’s verdict.

“The salmon is perfectly cooked,” he said. “Asparagus fried crisply and delicious. The asparagus soup is creamy and full of flavor.”

Two contestants were eliminated at the end of the show.

As the show would suggest, Abby is now among the top six best junior chefs in the country.

Episode 5 of “MasterChef Junior” airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday on Fox. A preview of the episode showed the junior chefs competing to serve customers in a restaurant challenge.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com