The Judges' Advice for the Young Chefs of Chopped Junior, Season 2

We sought the advice of the Chopped Junior judges, and here's what they would tell the kid competitors.

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: ADECARLOPHOTOBLOG.COM ©DECARLOPHOTOBLOG.COM

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: Susan Magnano

Photo By: ADECARLOPHOTOBLOG.COM ©DECARLOPHOTOBLOG.COM

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: ADECARLOPHOTOBLOG.COM ©DECARLOPHOTOBLOG.COM

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: Susan Magnano

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: Susan Magnano

Believe in Yourself — Sarah Michelle Gellar

"You have to believe in yourself. … If you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t ask others to do the same, and I think that’s the most important part. But I think they wouldn’t be here if they didn’t already believe that they could accomplish this."

Stay True to Who You Are — Donal Skehan

"In a situation like this, when you are stressed and you’re a little bit nervous, there is a tendency to kind of look at what everyone else is doing, but if I could only give one piece of advice, it’s to stay true to who you are, and make sure that you represent yourself on the plate, because trying to do something else will just end in failure."

Make Your Dreams Happen — Alison Sweeney

"I am someone who found my passion very young in life. I knew I wanted to be an actress since I was 4 years old, and … I see [that] in their eyes, that they have found something they love doing, and that’s the biggest part of any career that you choose, is [to] find something that you love to do, and go make it happen for yourself."

Fail Up — Geoffrey Zakarian

"You don’t learn anything if you don’t lose. You have to have failures to, like, sort of measure yourself against everybody else and measure what you need to do to get better. … 'Fail up' is the way I tell people, but you got to fail."

Focus on the Simplicity — Amanda Freitag

"Really keep it simple, because [there's] the whole excitement of being here and the adrenaline of being in this kitchen and seeing all the stuff in the pantry and all the equipment,, and you want to show off and you want to use all this stuff and play with it, but really this isn’t the time."

Think of All the Days Ahead — Andrew Rannells 

"This is just, like, one day. It’s like one stop along their way, so even if they don’t move forward I hope that this is at least encouraging them to … keep doing what they’re doing, because they’re all super-talented."

Never Give Up — Ayesha Curry

"Don’t give up. People are going to tell them that they can’t do something because they’re young, and that they’re not capable, but … they’re more than capable, so [they should] just keep at it and keep working and they’ll all be successful."

Don't Lose Your Enthusiasm — Chris Santos 

"Just keep doing what you’re doing, just keep being fearless, and just keep having, you know, this enthusiasm that is just so contagious. … If they become professional chefs one day, you know, keep that enthusiasm through all the long hours and all the stuff that you do when you become a chef in a restaurant environment."

Embrace Your Gifts — Christine Taylor

"As somebody who now, later in life, is just starting to cook and loving being in the kitchen, [my advice] would just be to embrace this gift that they have, and regardless of what the outcome is today, this is just a game and this is fun and, yes, there’s a prize, but the fact that they’re on the show means their talent is tremendous … ."

Keep Doing What You Do Best — Rico Rodriguez 

"You know this competition is a big thing, but, you know, don’t take that as your only big note. Don’t let that stop you. Keep perfecting it so that one day you can win, and then you can continue doing what you do best."

No Dream Is Unreachable — Jourdan Dunn

"All I would say is to dream big, and no dream is too small or too big, and just go for it. I mean, you can make it happen."

If You're Having Fun, It Doesn't Feel Like a Job — Fabio Viviani

"While I do believe the restaurant business is a serious business and needs to be taken carefully, cooking is not a serious business. Cooking is fun, and as long as you have fun, you could have a good career out of it."

Commit to What You Know — Debby Ryan

"I’d say my biggest piece of advice for them would just be to, like, really commit to what they know they’re good at, what they know that is their kind of signature flavor … or some of them are specializing in cooking healthy or a specific kind of, you know, cultures and ethnicities and flavors, and the more that they’re integrating that, the more I would say just, like, really fight for that originality of you as a chef."

Think Outside of the Box — Eddie Jackson

"Try to be as creative as possible, because … one of the key things in the Chopped kitchen is to try to, no pun intended, think outside the box. And I think at that young age, it’s easy for kids to be creative, because their minds are already starting to explore the world and the things around them, so I think if they just use their natural ability of being creative that they may come up with something amazing."

Don't Give Up Imagining — Haylie Duff

"Just take this as a game and [don't] let this be something that determines whether you’re talented in the kitchen or not. … The fact that you even are here today is such a big indicator of your talent … . Keep experimenting … keep playing and imagining."

Take a Minute for Yourself — Jennie Garth

"I saw one of the contestants today take a minute … to recompose, and I think that that is a great lesson for people. Sometimes you just need a minute to pull yourself together and, you know, get your game face back on."

Build Yourself Up — Jerome Bettis

"Take the criticism as constructive. Use it as a springboard. Take all the moments of doubt and build from those and you become a better chef, and you become a better competitive chef; you become a better competitor in life in general."

Do What You Love — Kardea Brown 

"My one advice for them in general is just to always do what you love. Always. Keep that number one, and once you do what you love, you’ll have an amazing life."

Be Proud of What You've Already accomplished — Ali Khan

"It’s time for a lot of life lessons here. You come here, you got here for a reason; you came here because of your passion, because of hard work. Whatever goes down in the Chopped kitchen, you’ve already accomplished so much, and don’t quit."

Let the Baskets Shine — Kelsey Nixon 

"Keep it simple, stick to what you know and really let the ingredients in the basket shine."

Don't Get Nervous — Marc Murphy

"Control the nerves, because I think that’s what gets the best of them most of the time."

Don't Forget Where You Came From — Monti Carlo

"I say this to everyone, and it’s 'just keep cooking.' … Don’t forget what brought you into the kitchen, and that’s a love of creating something beautiful."

Forget It's a Competition — Marcus Samuelsson 

"Keep having fun. Keep cooking. Most of them have trained at home, so just [take] that sense of ownership of 'I know I can do it, I’ve done it before' [and] almost forget about the camera and forget that it’s a competition."

Stick with It — Roblé Ali

"They’re young, they’re already well versed in the kitchen, and if they stick with it, by the time they’re my age they’ll all be masters."

Think It Through — Sam Kass 

"So often when you’re under pressure, you just start racing and start moving fast and you don’t think through actually what you want to do, and so then you end up wasting a lot of time; you make mistakes. … Once you have a plan, you can win. If you’re trying to come up with it on the fly, that’s when things start to go wrong."

Explore the World of Flavors — Carla Hall 

"I think that the more that they taste, the better they’ll get to know their palate. I mean, cooking is all about balance, and … you have sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami, and [they should] sort of explore every time they eat something, to determine which category that ingredient is in, because when you cook it’s about the balance of all of those."

Role Reversal — Scott Conant

"I could probably take some advice from them, to be honest … . I mean, they’re all in really good places. They all have something to offer, and it seems that it comes from a good place within."

Be a Kid — Alex Guarnaschelli

"All the kids that are on Chopped Junior should immediately eat an ice cream cone and go to the playground for, like, two days and play when they’re done here, because you just … got to be a kid."

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