Herald Sun - Switched On - - Monday -

WE MAY have lost the Ashes, but at least we can lay claim to beat­ing Eng­land in one area. Our ju­nior mas­terchefs are streets ahead of their pint­sized English coun­ter­parts.

They’re caviar to Eng­land’s fish ’ n’ chips.

While our kids were tem­per­ing choco­late, one Bri­tish girl couldn’t even iden­tify a chicken breast. Harsh crit­i­cism, but that’s the prob­lem with the kid­die ver­sion of the pop­u­lar cook­ing con­test.

You can’t say any­thing bad be­cause they’re kids.

Ev­ery­one had chefs they dis­liked in the adult ver­sions — Johnno, Jimmy and Claire copped more than their share of crit­i­cism, and Joanne Zalm ac­tu­ally had hate-sites ded­i­cated to her.

But you can’t dis­like the ju­nior con­tes­tants, be­cause they’re some­body’s child.

Most shows we rip off from Amer­ica are ba­si­cally car­bon copies, but our ver­sion dif­fers sharply from the UK ver­sion, and I have to ad­mit, I kind of like the way the Brits do it.

For a start, there’s just two judges — John Torode and Na­dia Sawalha — and they seem less concerned with the cam­eras than our boys do.

Plus they have bet­ter ta­ble

Un­con­cerned: John Torode man­ners — no talk­ing with a mouth full and stab­bing food like cave­men.

It’s more in­struc­tional, less pol­ished/staged and barely seems like a com­pe­ti­tion, which surely must be bet­ter for the lit­tle cooks and their longterm mental health.

There were no tears, no tantrums, no dis­ap­pointed looks on this ver­sion, only proud-as-punch smiles.

The kids are cute-as and they re­ally do say the darn­d­est things.

‘‘ I love do­ing the taste test be­cause I just love eat­ing,’’ says one kid.

‘‘ I think I did re­ally well at try­ing it and not spit­ting it out, ’ cos I didn’t like it,’’ says an­other af­ter a taste test. Ju­nior MasterChef Life­Style Food, Fox­tel/ Aus­tar, 7.30pm

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