Whenever I hear someone is from Gary, Indiana, my mind immediately goes to Harold Hill dancing around River City, signing about his hometown from “The Music Man.” But this is no story about a phony music professor.
It’s better. Most definitely.
In the spring of 2017, 11-year-old Ben Watkins began filming for MasterChef Junior.
But it’s only now, during the premiere of the new season, that the young boy’s secret is coming to light.
On March 2, Ben made his television debut on the kid’s version of Gordon Ramsey’s popular show.
Ben’s cooking experience dates back to the time he spent helping his parents at the restaurant they named after him, Big Ben’s Bodacious Barbecue, Bakery & Deli.
But months after filming in September 2017, Gary, Indiana, native Ben lost his mom and dad. Ben’s father shot and killed his mother before taking his own life.
But this middle grader isn’t letting their ending become his. “He’s such a remarkable young man who’s smarter than his age,” the attorney to Ben’s guardians, Trent McCain, commented.
We’ll have to agree with Mr. McCain.
Big Ben’s Bodacious Barbecue, Bakery & Deli closed following the Watkins’s deaths, but Ben’s love for cooking has lived on.
“We are so thrilled to have Ben on this season of MasterChef Junior,” Allie Hall, a Fox spokeswoman said.
His focus hasn’t wavered, and his hopes and dreams of becoming a professional chef stronger than ever.
“I just kind of think about things and then mix things up,” Ben said in an interview.
This is one bright kid with a promising future in the culinary arts. Root for #TeamBen on MasterChef Junior this season.
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