It's 2020, and at the top of the list of things I didn't expect to happen this year — okay, maybe first place goes to the pandemic — was that I would become a fan of Junior MasterChef.
To put it kindly, I don't love kids. I don't understand them. They're small and they make silly comments and I just have very little patience.
Which ties in to my next point. Cooking is also not a favourite pastime of mine (see: patience comment), and the cleanup? Just not for me.
Watch the trailer for Junior Masterchef. Post continues below.
Hence why I've never indulged in MasterChef before, and why — despite all my co-workers' ravings — I was reluctant to start now.
Yet last Sunday The Project came to an end, and I'd already binge-watched Emily in Paris, so I allowed Junior MasterChef to run in the background for a few minutes.
Only it didn't just run in the background...
In came the 14 best young chefs in the country, and within minutes I found myself crying at these little aspirational food wizards whose parents Just. Must. Be. So. Proud.
So, to begin, the 10-14-year-olds were asked to cook the judges their signature dish.
Easy enough start.
My signature dish is mince meat and a jar of bolognese pasta sauce thrown onto some Barilla spaghetti no.3, which I cook to al dente in just five minutes (but usually four, because I leave my cooking 'til the last minute and get a 'lil hangry).
Among the signature dishes of our MasterChefs though, were lobster mornay (which one 12-year-old apparently eats several times a week??), spiced chocolate tart with cardamom ginger ice cream (I'm not familiar with at least one of those ingredients), and pumpkin and ricotta tortellini with a burnt butter and sage sauce.