Chopped Junior Judges Give Their Best Advice to Contestants

The Chopped judges share a few wise words for the young chefs to carry with them on their culinary journeys. 

Photo By: Anthony DeCarlo ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: ADECARLOPHOTOBLOG.COM ©DECARLOPHOTOBLOG.COM

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: ADECARLOPHOTOBLOG.COM ©DECARLOPHOTOBLOG.COM

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Anthony DeCarlo ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Steve Wilkie ©2014 Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason DeCrow ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: ADECARLOPHOTOBLOG.COM ©DECARLOPHOTOBLOG.COM

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Don't Stop, Go Get It — David Arquette

"Don't let anything stop you. It really is hard work. Anything you put your mind to and really dedicate the time, it's going to pay off, but it's really hard, those obstacles you encounter on the way up."

Just Do Your Own Thing — Cheryl Hines

"First of all, you're not going to please everybody all the time, so don't even try. That's a mistake. ... So, to do your own thing, listen to your inner voice, and stay true to yourself. And understand that some people aren't going to like it, and the person right after them might love it."

There's Room to Learn and Grow — David Alan Grier

"I've been in those situations when I didn't get a part, you didn't come in first place, and it is the end of the world for about a day or two. ... It's always a learning experience. Most times chefs know what the shortcomings of their dishes are, and you learn something."

Listen to Your Gut — Debbie Matenopoulos

"I think, go with your gut; do your very best. They're not hesitating, where I think a lot of adults would open that basket and go, 'Woah, what am I going do?' They really open the basket, they get right into it and so they're not afraid to be creative."

It's OK to Lie and Steal — Ta'Rhonda Jones

"I live by two rules in life. That's lie and steal, meaning: Lie down your own rules, and steal every opportunity that comes your way. No matter how hard or rough the tribulations may be or whatever you're going through, it's always best that you hold your head up high and keep on moving 'cause there's more to life than just — sometimes your biggest loss may turn into your biggest win."

Fail Upward — Bridget Moynahan

"You're going to make mistakes, and you're not always going to win, and it's really important to remember those moments are just as important as winning because those will define your next move. ... It will help you move forward."

Believe in Yourself — Angelo Sosa

"My biggest advice is ... if you have a vision, if you have a belief, and at the end of the day if you're the only one that believes in it, that's more than enough. Just pursue it, believe it, be convicted, and if you hear 'no,' find a way, because if it's to be, it's up to you."

It's All in the Flavor — Daphne Oz

"Trust your instinct because your instinct is right. You know the flavors you like; you know what tastes good to you. Play off of those things, and don't overthink it."

Bounce Back, Bounce Higher — Rachel Hollis

"Success is not defined by how high you fly; it's defined by how high you bounce. [For those who got chopped], you didn't lose today — you just learned to bounce for the first time. It's about how you bounce back and how quickly you try and do this again. I think you're sort of making yourself stronger to try again next time."

Have Fun, Life Goes On — Chris Colfer

"[Do not] put too much weight on the competition, and know that it'll be a fun and exciting experience, but their whole life is not going to be based on whether or not they win or lose this show."

Dream Big and Bigger — Danica Patrick

"There’s no one path to get to the top. It’s just a matter of continuing to get exposure, experience, trying new things, and just following that dream and dreaming big. ... It’s important to dream big, as in have goals that are so lofty that you almost think they can’t happen, but you keep saying them, and then they become much more real.”

Don't Live Life in Fear— DeMarcus Ware

"I can just always tell the kids a little motto that I go by is 'Don't live life in fear.' Because if you live life in fear, you've already failed, and just be adventurous, and [do] not worry about your surroundings."

Power to the Girls — Jamika Pessoa

"I see especially with the girls, they were very kind of quiet and reserved. I love to see girl power, so I want them to get that confidence in the kitchen. If you're in that kitchen, you earned that right. Don't let anybody question if you should or should not be there. You are enough, the fact that you're in that space, so wear it, and wear it well."

Adapt to Change — James Maslow

"Don't stress too much about the details. Your future is going to take form no matter what you do, so work towards positive aspects of shaping that, but don't try and plan out specifically what it's going to look like. You need to be malleable, because life changes."

Your Past Does Not Determine Your Future — Brandi Milloy

"Never give up, and never allow where you come from determine where you're going in life. ... I think my biggest advice would be follow your dreams, find a mentor, find out what path you have to take to get there, and sometimes work is disguised as opportunity."

Live Boldly — Lazarus Lynch

"I would say to continue doing what they're doing, which is living their dream, making bold dreams — dreams that other people may say, 'That's impossible to achieve.' I think life has a way of kind of showing you different things that you may not have planned before, but it's always good to dream big; it's always good to be ambitious and stay hungry and go after what they want."

There Is no Winner or Loser — Chelsea Peretti

"I hope that they don't get too competitive, because then there's always a winner and a loser. And I don't think life is like that. There's gradients."

Pat Yourself on the Back — Alison Roman

"Don’t be too hard on yourself, and just know that whether it's a positive experience and you win or you think of it as a negative experience right now, because you lost, in the end it's all positive."

Master the Basics and Confidence Will Come — Marc Murphy

"The first thing is, you've got to work on your knife skills. Knife skills are everything. Once you get comfortable with a knife, you can start butchering things and cutting things up properly, then you can start concentrating on flavors, on technique, on braising and all those other things that come with it, but the first thing you need is that confidence in the kitchen, and I think knife skills are up at the top."

Get Back Up and Try Again — Iliza Shlesinger

"Just because you get rejected [and] lose the first time doesn't mean you're a loser and not worthy of winning. There's no shame in trying again, and it only makes you stronger, as much as it hurts the first time to be rejected."

Build Strength with Failure — Jake Smollett

"My advice to the kids is don't look at this as a failure. This is just making you stronger; it's making you a better cook. It's — failure's a part of life, you know, so I think that they should take it as a part of their career, in a sense."

You Are Closer Than You Think — Katie Lee

"My advice to these kids is to just keep doing what they're passionate about. They clearly love cooking, and they should just keep at it, you know. They have a real leg up on a lot of other people who want to go into the culinary world because they're starting so young. They're getting a lot of experience now."

Let Your Personality Sparkle — David Guas

"Have fun, obviously, don't get lost in the 'what it would mean if you won,' and just stay focused on the here and now, which is very difficult, even as an adult, let alone kids their age — just to be grounded."

Stay Forever Fearless — Meghan Markle

"I think the best advice I could give them would just be to never lose that fearlessness. I think something happens as we get older, and as adults where we start to make more calculated decisions, and we're scared of making a mistake or scared of messing up, but ... live the way that they're doing it and just go boldly after this dream of theirs."

Know That the Fundamentals Are Key — Andrew Gruel

"The advice I would have for the kids in regards to working in a kitchen or considering being a chef is really to just learn the fundamentals. Sometimes it's easy for us to start to get caught up in the glamour of whatever industry that we're either studying, approaching, targeting. The fundamentals are the most-important piece of any industry, for that matter or profession."

Shine Bright — Siri Daly

"My biggest advice is to just keep going. I mean, they're all so talented, they all have such bright futures and hobbies and interests, and they're so creative. ... Keep that creative inspiration going and to believe in themselves."

Keep It Cool, Keep It Calm — Raiza Costa

"My advice for the kids would be stay cool, stay calm. Everything will work out, because apparently they have done that 1,000 times at home. ... Their parents allow them to be in the kitchen, so if they remain calm, they're going to extract the best out of them."

Prepare for a Perfect Performance — Austin Mahone

"When it comes to doing a competition, it's always better to just be overprepared. I think you just have to always prepare yourself every day, make sure everything is right [and] make sure you're in the right mindset."

Explore with Wide-Open Eyes — Raquel Pelzel

"I think to travel, to just be open to everything, to read lots of books, to pay attention, not just to what the finest chefs are doing but also what's happening in the small, little corner restaurants, the home cooking kind of places — to pull inspiration from everywhere."

Food Is Part of Everyday Life — Luke Thomas

"I think the advice that I would say to these kids is, like, just enjoy food. It's such a personal thing and it connects people all over the world. It's something that we do numerous times every single day: We eat, we buy food [and] we go to markets. And it's such a happening thing, and that will just never stop. And that is, like, the best part."

Take the Next Steps to Greatness — Tiffany Derry

"I think the focus that they have right now is great. If they could keep that and hone in on the skill, remember that there's going to be a lot of challenges and that it's not easy — the culinary industry. But if they keep on, I think that they're going to be amazing chefs of the next generation to add to the culinary field."

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