We’ll Have What She’s Having
Posted by Heather Atwood
MasterChef Junior contestant Lila DeLuca in her Rockport kitchen. (Photograph by Jonathan Kozowyk)
Late last spring, Lila DeLuca, a braided 10-year-old Rockporter, quietly slipped off to Los Angeles. She reported to her elementary school that she would be accompanying her father, Scott, on an “indefinite business trip.”
This, of course, was cover for the strict code of silence the Fox Broadcasting Company imposes upon its MasterChef contestants — even the juniors.
In her 2016 audition video, DeLuca had proven to the MasterChef Junior talent team that she had the right stuff to be one of the 40 kids qualified to endure — with all due adorableness — celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s famously menacing temper and the lofty standards of his co-host Christina Tosi, the high priestess of pastry at New York’s Momofuku Milk Bar.
For the next six weeks, DeLuca would proceed to croûton, coulis, caramelize, and squeal for joy — like 10-year-olds do. While the show has concluding taping and the results are in, DeLuca is prohibited from sharing any of the juicy details. But she can say that, yes, there was school (as California laws require). And there were field trips, intended to keep young minds working in between the intensity of shooting, and, of course, there was the once-in-a-lifetime experience of being on the set of a nationally-televised, wildly-popular TV show.