Logan Guleff’s first cooking recipe for the JIF most creative sandwich contest at the age of 9 won him a trip to “The Today Show,” but it was on another show, “MasterChef Junior,” where he not only took home the crown, but inspired millions in the process.
At first glance, a cooking show with a bunch of kids might come across as a cute gimmick. Well, Logan’s winning meal included saffron spot prawns with olive remoulade and smoked aioli as an appetizer, a main course of salt-crusted branzino, and Meyer lemon madeleines with goat cheese mousse and berry compote for dessert. He was twelve years old. We caught up with Logan to find out what he’s been doing since his win and what goals he’s set his sights on for the future.
After winning MasterChef Junior, what’s next for you?
I would really love to have my own cooking show and cookbook. I am working on my line of spices which really needs to get into production. Because there are so many important ingredients in my spice mixes, I can’t interchange the source ingredients and get the same flavors, so it’s hard to find the right manufacturer.
What was it like going to school after winning?
Well, I’m homeschooled so it was just like going to school, but a lot of my friends from scouts, sports, homeschools, and traditional schools were really excited and proud of me, so that was cool.
What keeps you returning to the kitchen to cook time and time again?
I love when people taste my food and their face transforms from suspicion to awe and then to happiness. I can’t imagine another job that can make people so happy. I also love the challenges you face in the kitchen, finding new ways to make food come to life. I mean, food is universal to all living things, it is just part of us all, so it is really fun to express myself in such a way.
How do you challenge yourself in the kitchen?
It is really hard not to challenge yourself in the kitchen because the place is really unique. To be successful, you need to always be reinventing yourself and challenge everything. There are some basic rules and the rest just helps you compose your own flavor symphony.
What haven’t you had a chance to cook/tools you haven’t been able to work with yet in the kitchen that you’d like to?
I have been fortunate enough to work with traditional cooking methods and I’ve also had a chance to work with nontraditional methods such as molecular gastronomy, sous vide, anti-griddle, liquid nitrogen and other wonderful tools. The next big huge tool I would just love to work with would be the vacuum for rotary evaporation system. I mean how cool would that be?
You’ve inspired so many people. What inspires you?
What inspires me is trying new things and meeting new chefs from all around the world and working with them. I just worked with a master chef who really encouraged me to be more, to learn more, and to take my cooking to another level. I’m also inspired by really fresh ingredients and exotic foods. I am encouraged by people that write to me, and everyone who shares their talent and time with me. It’s an amazing opportunity to inspire people and to also be inspired.
Follow Logan to find out more about what he’s up to at http://www.Twitter.com/Loganjrchef!