Who Is Liya Chu? 13-Year-Old Wins MasterChef Junior Season 8


She had to keep it a secret for 3 years!

After a long wait of 3 years, 13-year-old Liya Chun can finally tell the whole world that she is now the MasterChef Junior. The little chef was 10 years old when she won the title however, due to the show’s delay because of the pandemic, the results and the whole season were aired late and she had to keep it a secret till now.

The nerve-wracking finale of the eighth season of MasterChef Junior aired on 23 June where Liya was crowned the final winner through intense competition. So who exactly is the newest MasterChef Junior Liya Chu?

Today we tell you everything we know about her:

Who Is Liya Chu?

Liya comes from Scarsdale, situated in New York. She participated in the show’s 8th season in 2019 and she was 10 at that time. Liya’s parents Iwen Chen and Auston Chu are both chefs and they own two restaurants together which are “Fantasy Cuisine” in Hartsdale and “Dumpling Plus Noodles” in Bronxville.

When Liya first came into the show she said: “I wanted to show that cooking isn’t just making food, it’s actually creativity, a break from life. For me, cooking is a break, freedom, a time I spend with family, so I was happy I got to show that in my dishes.”

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A post shared by Liya Chu (@liya_chu08)

Liya used to take part in the family business from the early age of 7 where she often worked side-by-side with her parents. Chen said: “Cooking together was a great way to not only teach her how to do things but also to teach her the importance of being with us; of gathering and having memories as a family.”

Road to Finals

During the semi-finals, Liya went against Grayson Prince, 11, and Ivy Childs, 8. She decided to go with food that she learned from her family and prepared a dumpling dish that was taught by her mother. She ended up winning the heart and palette of the judges Gordon Ramsey, Daphne Oz, and Aarón Sanchez.

Then for the finals, the meal she cooked in the MasterChef Junior Kitchen also continued to utilize the cuisine and culture of her family. She showed off her skills with pork dumplings along with a salt and pepper blue prawn accompanied by spicy aioli. This dish was also taught to her by her mother.

Liya on Winning

Liya’s strategy of using her family’s cuisine worked wonders and won her the title of MasterChef Junior for season 8. She received a trophy, an apron, as well as a huge prize money sum of $100, 000. Liya plans to save this money for her college and also go on a trip with her family.

After winning the title Liya said: “It’s crazy that I won that. I want to thank everybody for that because I couldn’t have done it just by myself. I have to even thank Grayson because he taught me so much through cooking. Also, I want to thank the chefs, the judges, Gordon, and also the filming crew.”

Liya plans to open a restaurant that serves hibachi and sushi.


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