Junior MasterChef Pinoy Edition is hosted by Judy Ann Santos (top frame) while Chef Rolando 'Lau' Laudico, Chef Fernando 'Ferns' Aracama, Chef JP 'Jayps' Anglo will serve as judges of ABS-CBN's new kiddie cooking reality show. A primer of the show will be aired on August 20 while the pilot episode will air on August 27. Photo: ABS-CBN

PRESS STATEMENT FROM ABS-CBN:

"A new Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo returns to television through the much-awaited kiddie cooking reality show Junior MasterChef Pinoy Edition.  For the very first time in her career, the Philippine's Queen of Soap Opera will dabble in hosting as she leads the search for the finest young amateur chef in the country.

"Joining Judy Ann, or Juday to her family and fans, are world-renowned Filipino chefs Fernando "Ferns" Aracama, Rolando "Lau" Laudico, and JP "Jayps" Anglo in the newest reality franchise from the group that brought you phenomenal hits Pinoy Big Brother, Pinoy Dream Academy, and The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition.

"They will be the ones to guide the kiddie chefs and judge the dishes they will cook up on their way to becoming the first Pinoy Junior MasterChef who will win a culinary scholarship and P1 million.

"Juday shared that she was almost at tears during their first taping because she has been a fan of Junior MasterChef editions in the United Kingdom and Australia. (The Philippines is the third country in the world to produce its own Junior MasterChef.)

"Aside from being awed by their set, which is a larger and arguably better version of the original MasterChef kitchen, she also felt nervous as she was embarking on a new field in her career.

"I really need to give my best in this program to make sure that the overwhelming support and trust ABS-CBN is giving me for this project won't be put to waste. Hosting is not my forte but I'm willing to learn," she said.


"But if you ask ABS-CBN Business Unit Head Laurenti Dyogi, Juday has already exceeded their expectations as she can instantly connect with the kids and the chefs.


"She's the perfect choice as host for Junior MasterChef. Her passion for cooking and love for children come out naturally in the show. At first, she was still adjusting but eventually you can already see she's enjoying and how she's able to become an inspiration to the kids," he explained.

"The award-winning actress, who is a mother of two, said unlike her previous work, her job as host doesn't require any acting at all. She said whenever she's in front of the kids, the mom in her takes charge.

"This show is all heart. The kids are really cute and smart so it's hard not to have a connection with them. But as a host and their mom in the program, I'm the one to balance their emotions. We don't want to hurt their feelings but we also need to be honest when it comes to the taste of their dishes. When they're about to cry, I have to be strong and raise their spirits. You have to be ready with words of encouragement for them," she shared.

"With the help of Chef Ferns, Lau, and Jayps, all accomplished chefs and restauranteurs, Juday said kids will surely learn from every challenge or task they face in the program.

"Dyogi expects viewers to enjoy the unique flavor of Junior MasterChef Pinoy Edition, just like how the rest of the world has received the other editions of MasterChef.

"Most of reality shows in the Philippines are looking for singers or performers. This time we'll showcase cooking of kids and how magnificent and awesome they are in creating dishes out of passion and love for their families. We'll join them as they try to reach for their dreams and we will be there to ensure they are equipped for their dream career," he said.

"Get a first taste on the reality show that will make you smile, cry, and be inspired to cook, whether you are young or old, an aspiring chef or simply a food lover in Appetizer: The Junior MasterChef Pinoy Edition Primer on August 20 (Saturday) on ABS-CBN.