Which MasterChef Junior alums are competing in MasterChef: Back to Win?

MASTERCHEF: L-R: Judge Aarón Sánchez, host/judge Gordon Ramsay and judge Joe Bastianich. MASTERCHEF premieres Wednesday, June 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2019 FOXMEDIA LLC. Cr: FOX.
MASTERCHEF: L-R: Judge Aarón Sánchez, host/judge Gordon Ramsay and judge Joe Bastianich. MASTERCHEF premieres Wednesday, June 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2019 FOXMEDIA LLC. Cr: FOX. /

MasterChef: Back to Win, the twelfth season of the hit cooking competition series, will turn up the heat in this world famous kitchen in its first ever second chance show.

20 contestants, all of whom competed in MasterChef and fell short of the grand prize, will be vying for the coveted title once more. As such, the judges–Gordon Ramsay, Aarón Sánchez, and Joe Bastianich–will have higher standards. After all, these chefs all know what it’s like competing in this pressure cooker of a series.

However, there are two chefs who may not be quite used to this version of the sizzling competition. Ramsay is known for precision, lofty expectations, and a temper that’s let loose when dishes aren’t up to snuff. But, as a chef who is also an instructor and a mentor, he’s far more patient in the MasterChef Junior competition.

Of course that makes sense considering the point of that series is to foster the talents, skills, and expertise of the next generation of chefs. He’s there to help guide them and expand their knowledge of the culinary field. There’s no reason to treat them like professionals who should have the skill set to overcome mishaps in the kitchen, navigate challenges involving ingredients, and be able to manage themselves and their teams.

While Ramsay doesn’t expect total perfection in MasterChef, his critiques aren’t as easygoing nor is this a competition where hand-holding in the kitchen will happen. For these MasterChef Junior alums, there may be an added layer of pressure not only to impress the judges and excel but also in proving that they can handle the next step up in competition in the MasterChef franchise.

Here’s who’s going to be in season 12 from the Junior show.

The MasterChef Junior alums in MasterChef: Back to Win

Dara Yu

Yu competed in the first season of MasterChef: Junior back in 2013. She made it all the way to finale but lost to Alexander Weiss, making her the runner-up. In an interview with Huff Post in 2021, Yu spoke on her culinary dreams since the competition. She said:

"Going into the show, cooking was a hobby. Coming out of the show, I knew it was going to be my career."

The chef is also known as The Bow Girl due to the iconic red bow she wore during her season of the Junior competition. She adopted the moniker into her brand as a call sign to her start in the culinary world. Yu has attended the Culinary Institute of America, worked alongside Dominique Ansel, and she continues to hone her craft and grow in her field.

Shayne Wells

Wells competed in the fifth season of MasterChef: Junior at the age of 13. He came in third place in the competition. The young chef, known for his big personality, still goes by the moniker–Shayne the Train. Texas-bred, he’s all about his family (who appeared on Disney+’s Be Our Chef in 2020) and making dishes that speak to his culinary vision.

Both Yu and Wells will be up against stiff competition, but they’re set to prove themselves among their peers and come out on top!

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MasterChef: Back to Win airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox starting May 25. Stay tuned to Hidden Remote for more news and coverage!