Season Four of "MasterChef Junior" came to an exciting conclusion Friday as host/executive producer and judge Gordon Ramsay and fellow judges Graham Elliot and Christina Tosi named Addison Osta Smith, a 9-year-old from River Forest, Illinois, the winner of FOX's hit cooking competition series.
In addition to earning the "MasterChef Junior" trophy, Addison walked away with a $100,000 grand prize. She also will set sail this November on the "MasterChef Cruise," where she will cook with other all-stars, including previous "MasterChef" winners Claudia Sandoval and Luca Manfe.
"We were so impressed with all of our junior home cooks this year, and Addison stood out from the very beginning," Ramsay said. "She was a fierce competitor, wonderful leader and team player and overall great joy to work with in the kitchen. Her desserts were especially remarkable and we are all looking forward to seeing her bright culinary future unfold."
"Winning 'MasterChef Junior' is just completely amazing and overwhelming," Addison said. "It's like I want to go jump off a big rock into a lake or go running down the beach screaming, 'I won "MasterChef Junior!" ' I am so, so thankful that I have had this amazing opportunity. I am even more inspired to work hard to accomplish all of my goals in life, and I will never forget this awesome experience, all of the friends I made, and everything I have learned. It's just awesome!"
In the season finale episode, Addison competed in a culinary showdown with Avery, a 9-year-old from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For the final challenge, Addison created an impressive, restaurant-quality three-course meal: an appetizer of sake-marinated shrimp with seaweed, sea bean, sour plum and puffed rice salad; a miso black cod with bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and coconut ginger broth; and a green tea panna cotta with cookie crumbles and brûléed plums for dessert.
After a very close competition, it was Addison's delicious and exciting flavors, perfectly cooked black cod and exquisite infusion of plums throughout her dishes that earned her the "MasterChef Junior" trophy.
Fans can "Like" "MasterChef Junior" on Facebook at facebook.com/MasterChefJuniorFOX. Follow the series on Twitter @MasterChefJrFOX and join the discussion with #MasterChefJunior. See photos and videos on Instagram @MasterChefJr/.