Fans of Top Chef will soon have a new show to love, with all of the eliminations, the drama, and the kitchen disasters—but with smaller-size chefs. Top Chef Junior, hosted by Vanessa Lachey and head judge chef Curtis Stone, will debut on Universal Kids in October, serving up some serious culinary kiddie drama.
Top Chef is "the original culinary competition show, and it's been so successful, and everybody loves watching it," Stone said. "So applying all of that to the kids, it's really fun, because the kids respond to it really well."
"You know these kids that they've found have real knowledge about food, they're super passionate, and they compete like no other," he added. Stone has previously served as host of Top Chef Masters and Top Chef Duels.
The show will feature 12 kid cooks, aged 9 to 14, competing in some of the same challenges Top Chef fans have come to know and love, like Restaurant Wars, reports PEOPLE. But there will be some twists, as well. "I've been told there's lots that's happening that Top Chef does, and there's lots of new surprises that they're going to integrate with the kids," Lachey revealed.
Both Stone and Lachey are parents. Lachey, who is married to singer Nick Lachey, has three children: 2-year-old daughter Brooklyn, along with two sons—Camden, 4, and Phoenix, 4 months. Stone, who is married to actress Lindsay Price, has two young sons: 5-year-old Hudson and 2-year-old Emerson.
Cleary, they both have of plenty of experience with kids, which won't soften them up at judges' table. "The last thing you want to do is to make a child cry but at the end of the day, what do they call that? Tough love, right?" Lachey declared.
"I'm not scared of that," Stone stated, shaking his head with a smile.
"I'm excited. I don't know what's in store," Lachey admitted. "That's the thing about kids…you never know. And that keeps you on your toes!"
While they'll be tasting some (hopefully) delicious food cooked by the competitors on the show, at home, both Lachey and Stone are the cooks in the family. "[LIndsay] doesn't cook often, but when she cooks, it's good," Stone said.
"And Nick, in the 11 years that we've been together, has never made one meal for me," Lachey revealed, adding quickly, "But that's OK. Our deal is, I cook, he cleans. And it works. And I like it like that."
"That's a good deal," acknowledged Stone.-Reporting by Jocelyn Vena
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