Windsor Terrace has its rising star chef, who is showing his skills on FOX’s hit television show “Masterchef Junior.”
Fourth-grader Donovan Milstein, who attends BASIS Independent Brooklyn, 556 Columbia Street, made his television debut on Thursday, February 9 when he and dozens of other children showed off their cooking skills on the show’s fifth season led by chef and host Chef Gordon Ramsay.
Donovan, his mother Rakhel and father Scott were thrilled when the opportunity came to the youngster.
“I tried out for the show because I watch it a lot and I cook a lot,” Donovan said. “I don’t remember my reaction perfectly, but I think I screamed a lot. I thought it looked kind of easy on television, but it wasn’t really when I did it.”
“We are so very proud,” added Rakhel. “We received a notice of the announcement of the open call auditions through the 78th Precinct emails they send out and they announced that the show was having an open casting call on December 12, 2016. It was a Saturday so we realized we could make it and he was all excited about going and didn’t hesitate for a second.”
Donovan long ago discovered his love for making food; he has been cooking since he was three years old. “I’ve cooked with my grandma and dad,” he explained. “I do it because my food makes people smile and that makes me happy.”
“It was interesting because Donovan has always been singularly focused on cooking,” added the proud mom. “Ever since he was little, he was never a Lego kid or a baseball kid or a soccer kid. For him, it was always about making concoctions and mixing things up and cooking. It’s true. I can’t even remember when it started but he’s always been fascinated with it and consistent. It’s been a true passion.”
Among Chef Donovan’s favorite dishes are flavorful Asian food and sauce. “I love cooking a lot of hot sauces with a variety of peppers that help the flavor,” he said. “Now, it’s pretty easy because I’ve been doing it for so long.”
It’s been a thrill for Donovan and his family to see him on television, pursuing his passion. “It’s been pretty cool to be on TV,” he said. “I’ve never been on a show before. I feel like one of the celebrities I see on it.”
“It’s surreal to finally see it come out,” said Rakhel. “The episode that was aired, Donovan was on it, and they were going from the top 40 to the top 20 and he was already on it so he already made the top 20, which was exciting.”
Despite being on national television, the highlight for Donovan has been interacting with his peers. “Being with other young contestants and learning has probably been the best part,” he said. “Everybody is so nice and everybody cares the same. We all share the same passion of cooking. I have also learned a lot being on the show.”
Working with Ramsay has also been a highlight for the youngster, who hopes to be a chef when he grows up. “It’s been fun. He’s pretty strict and serious, but he’s a good guy,” he said. “He’s a little nicer to the younger kids, not the adults.”
“It’s been amazing,” added Rakhel. “I think he was great with Donovan. He was so cool. It’s awesome to see. You could see he’s a dad and knows how to work with children.”
At school, one of Donovan’s favorite subject is science. “Cooking is like chemistry and that’s why I like science because chemistry is like it,” he explained.
“Masterchef Junior” airs on FOX Thursdays at 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.fox.com/masterchef-junior.