Pint-sized prodigies take on culinary veterans in new TV series

Estie Kung, the youngest contestant on Man vs Child: Chef Showdown, shares her experience on the new television reality series and explains why she nicknames Keith Breedlove "giant teddy bear."

Words by Imagine TV Network

Hosted by chef and television personality Adam Gertler, the new television series, Man vs Child: Chef Showdown has five young chefs challenging a different executive-level chef every episode.

Image credit: Lifetime Asia

Each episode features three rounds of cooking designed to test the contestants' mastery and cooking abilities in the kitchen and each child chef is able to nominate a team mate to challenge the executive chef.

Chef-restaurateur Mike Isabella and private chef to the stars Alia Zaine are the show's resident judges and commentators and will taste the dishes during the first two rounds of cooking. The final round of cooking will feature a blind taste test by a world-renowned master chef.

Of the five up-and-coming cooking wunderkids, who range from eight to 14 years old, Estie Kung is the youngest. The disadvantage, she remarks, is not so much her young age but her small stature because she has to tip toe just to reach the ingredients.

Image credit: Lifetime Asia

"There's me being super tiny and it's like I can't reach the spices that are at the top shelf," she adds. She also muses that looking small and adorable leads the adults to underestimate her. She picks Chef Keith Breedlove, television chef and owner of food truck Cilnerdy Cruzer, as the favorite chef in the series and describes him as a "giant teddy bear," explaining that while he looks big and tough, he is kind and has a nice personality.

The decision to join Man vs Child was one of pragmatism, she says. She shares that she had originally intended to sign up for MasterChef Junior but being six years old at that time, she fell short of the age requirements, which was set at eight years old. The following year, when she turned seven, she heard about the new series and was delighted to find out that contestants were only required to be seven years old.

Practice is key when preparing for the competition and she says besides tasting different food, she took time to hone her chopping and slicing skills.

Man vs Child: Chef Showdown premieres every Tuesday at 7pm (GMT +8)  and 10pm (GMT +8) on Lifetime (StarHub TV Channel 514) from tonight.



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