Gordon Ramsay fumes, hurls pork chop cooked by Alabama child: ‘I messed up’

For contestants on Gordon Ramsay’s TV shows, it’s almost a rite of passage. The fiery chef — who’s large and in charge on “Hell’s Kitchen,” “MasterChef,” “Next Level Chef” and more — will grab a piece of food that not up to par and throw it across the room. Ramsay typically lets out a few choice words, chastising the offending cook as the food splats onto a wall or a piece of kitchen gear.

Alabama’s Bryson McGlynn has earned major kudos from Ramsay this season on “MasterChef Junior.” But perhaps it was inevitable that the young grillmaster would experience a food-flinging moment as he competes on the FOX reality series.

Bryson, 12, watched a piece of meat fly through the air on Monday’s episode — his grilling skills had been sorely tested — as Ramsay took him to task. But the boy rallied under pressure and survived elimination on the hourlong program.

If you didn’t watch this week’s episode — or simply want a refresher on the “MasterChef” action — here’s what happened.

Who he is: Bryson is an Auburn resident who goes by the nickname of “Cheese Curd.” He’s a sixth-grader at Fox Run School in Opelika and the son of Mike and Shannon McGlynn. Bryson’s also a young grillmaster and barbecue specialist who competes in grilling competitions with his father. (Mike, a Wisconsin native, earned the nickname “Cheese” when he moved to Alabama, and that prompted his son’s moniker.) Bryson hopes to be a chef one day and have his own food truck.

What’s at stake: The winner of “MasterChef Junior” receives a trophy, bragging rights and $100,000 prize. Eight contestants remained on the show this week, after eliminations on previous episodes.

How it works: Four chefs act as judges on “MasterChef Junior” throughout the season, making decisions on who stays and who goes. Along with head honcho Ramsay, the judging panel includes Aarón Sánchez, Daphne Oz and Tilly Ramsay, Gordon Ramsay’s daughter. Weekly cooking challenges and eliminations trim the list of contestants until a single cook remains.

This week’s challenge: Theme for the episode was “Magic Castle.” The junior cooks got dressed up — Bryson wore a jacket and bow tie — and paid a visit to Magic Castle, a performance venue, restaurant and private club in Hollywood. The contestants were divided into two four-member teams (the Red Team and the Blue Team) and asked to prepare a restaurant-quality dinner for staffers at Magic Castle, including executive chef Ben LaFleche. The kids had one hour to plan the meal, grab ingredients from the “MasterChef” pantry and prepare meals for about 60 people.

What Bryson cooked: As a member of the Blue Team, he helped to prepare grilled pork chops with citrus glaze, mashed sweet potatoes with candied pecans and collard greens with crispy chopped bacon. Bryson was in charge of grilling the pork chops, a job that suited his background and skills. “Look at Bryson,” Ramsay said. “This guy knows how to cook meat. That’s a big plus on the Blue Team.”

Bryson McGlynn on "MasterChef Junior"
Alabama’s Bryson McGlynn, right, competes with his teammates on the “Magic Castle” episode of “MasterChef Junior.”(Greg Gayne/)2024 FOX Media LLC)

Promising start: At first, everything was going well for the Blue Team and Bryson excelled on the grill. “Blue Team are doing a pork chop,” Ramsay said. “They’re cooking in a cast-iron pan. But more importantly, Bryson is in that zone. He knows how to cook a pork chop.”

Flying food: As the dinner service progressed, the Blue Team began to fumble and consistency suffered. Some of the pork chops were undercooked, prompting an angry reaction from Ramsay. “If you continue sending me that, we’re going home,” Ramsay said, slicing in to a pork chop and pointing to the pink meat. “In fact, all of you can go home. … That is not good enough.” Ramsay grabbed one of the undercooked chops and hurled it into the air, saying “No bit of magic will bring that thing back!”

Where’s the meat?: The Blue Team was humbled but began to recover, finishing the dinner service. However, the young cooks threw out a few pork chops along the way, and ended up three chops short. This meant three diners didn’t have the main protein on their plates. That, Ramsay confirmed, was not a good thing. (”You ran out of pork? Oh, dear, oh, dear.”) Bryson was dismayed, predicting that his team would lose and he would be sent home.

What Bryson said: “I’m done. I messed up. I shouldn’t have messed up. I lost track of time, because I thought we had the pork chops down. We didn’t.”

Bryson McGlynn on "MasterChef Junior"
Alabama’s Bryson McGlynn, center, competes with his teammates on the “Magic Castle” episode of “MasterChef Junior.”(Greg Gayne/)2024 FOX Media LLC)

Challenge winner: Both teams succeeded in preparing tasty meals for the diners, earning kudos (and a few critical comments) from the staffers at Magic Castle. Both teams also made mistakes while serving such a large group of people. After a vote was taken among the diners, the Blue Team was declared the winner. As a result, all four cooks on that team were safe from elimination. The Red Team was the loser, which meant one cook from the team would be sent home.

How Bryson fared: He was among the contestants declared safe this week, as part of the winning Blue Team. “It feels so good to win,” Bryson said. “Like, I’m so proud of my team. … It feels amazing.”

Eliminated: Miles Platt, 10, of College Station, Texas, was sent home. Grilling steaks in such a large quantity was difficult for the Red Team and Platt was in charge of that.

Still in the competition: Along with Bryson, the seven remaining contestants are Alfred Eggermont, 11, of Binford, North Dakota; Asher Niles, 8, of Yakima, Washington; Jordyn Joyner, 8, of Greensboro, North Carolina; Lilo Tsai, 9, of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Michael Seegobin, 11, of New Smyrna, Florida: and Remy Powell, 10, of Hollywood, Florida.

Next up: The junior cooks must prepare dishes with food items they detest. “You have to turn the ingredients you hate into something delicious on a plate,” Ramsay says in a preview video. Bryson can be seen in the video, making a “yuck” face at some lima beans.

If you watch: “MasterChef Junior” airs on Mondays at 7 p.m. CT on FOX, and streams the following day on Hulu.

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