Maryland 10-year-old shows off her skills in the kitchen on MasterChef Junior

Local 10-year-old Zarah Spriggs is competing on "MasterChef Junior: Home for the Holidays." (Courtesy FOX)

A local young chef is ready for her TV debut Sunday.

Zarah Spriggs, 10, from Upper Marlboro, Maryland, said that she was inspired by her mom, Leela, who owns a bakery business.

And when her mom asked her if she was interested in competing against other young chefs on “MasterChef Junior: Home for the Holidays,” she wanted to give it a try.

“When I was about three, I started hanging around the kitchen. And my mom started teaching me some stuff about how to cook,” the fifth grader told WTOP.

When she found out she was selected to be on the show, she was thrilled.

Spriggs will be bringing comfort food with a twist to the Fox kitchen. She said her favorite thing to make at home was a grilled cheese sandwich with a gourmet twist.

“I add extra cheese, extra mayo and tomatoes,” she said.

There was one thing we had to ask about her experience on the show: what was it like meeting Chef Gordon Ramsay?

“I was scared that he was going to be mean at first, but he ended up being really nice. I think he’s only mean to the adults,” Spriggs said.

While TV is a new thing for Spriggs, the cooking and baking business isn’t. She and her twin brother are already selling baked goods at six Gold’s Gyms throughout the area.

Their business is called “Aiden and Zarah’s Num Num Cookies,” and their mother Leela said its helping her kids learn about having their own business, raising money for college and giving back by donating to their community.

“I don’t want them to think that they should only think about making money but also giving back. So it’s a great lesson to be learned,” Leela said.

For the show’s premiere Sunday, the Spriggs family is planning to have a watch party with close friends.

“What if I make any like funny faces?! I just hope everything turned out good,” Spriggs said of what makes her most nervous for the premiere.

She’s competing against eight other contestants on the show, including another Marylander, 10-year-old Elijah Zelaya.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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