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A Pinch of TV Time

HILCO EC girl elicits Gordon Ramsay’s charm on “MasterChef Junior”

Coco Welch, a home-schooler in Aquilla and budding cook who aspires to be an actor, got a taste of show business in November as a contestant on Fox’s “MasterChef Junior.” And it tasted salty.

She was preparing a bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes when she burst into tears. “My mashed potatoes,” she sobbed. “They’re too salty.”

That sent rushing to her aid none other than Gordon Ramsay, the show’s host and kitchen critic known for mincing egos as deftly as he minces shallots.

“Oh, my gosh, Gordon Ramsay is coming over, and he’s gonna taste them,” Coco, 11, remembers thinking. “And he’s gonna spit them out.”

Instead, he soothed her—tasted her potatoes and assured her they were fine.

Her pork and potatoes earned her a spot in the second half of the show, but her chicken Milanese with fingerling potatoes and wilted greens didn’t make the cut, so Coco and her mom, Lorie Welch, headed back to Aquilla, where the family is a member of HILCO EC. Coco has been auditioning for other TV shows and movies, more seasoned than she was before her unforgettable TV debut.