The star of MasterChef Junior season 5, shares her experience on the show, who she admires, and what she’s up to now.

By Nicole Papantoniou
Photo courtesy of MasterChef Jr.

Jasmine Stewart, season 5 winner of MasterChef Junior, has one piece of advice for the current contestants: “Never, ever, ever give up. You might have a second chance.”

The 13-year-old knows from experience because she was eliminated in one of the rounds two years ago and then got her very own second chance. Although she was crushed when she thought her journey on the show was over, she jumped right in when given the opportunity to participate in a redemption challenge. Not only did she prove herself to the judges, but she went on to win the entire season, becoming the only contestant to win after once being eliminated—a true comeback kid.

On Winning

When the judges called her name in the finale, she said she had to double check that they called her name and not Justice, the other finalist.  

“She’s phenomenal also, but I was just so thrilled. I felt so amazing and happy, and was so proud of myself.”

Her Future Dream Job

Not only is Jasmine still cooking (mostly for her family whenever she can), but she has plans to be a big star one day, hopefully cooking on TV like Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, and Guy Fieri. In the meantime, she’s continuing to share her love of cooking with the show's community. This summer she’ll make a few appearances at the MasterChef Junior camps in Connecticut and Georgia and she has contributed a few recipes to their latest cookbook.

What She Cooks

She says her cooking style is very versatile. She likes to experiment but always sticks to healthy and fresh.


Jasmine’s sunny demeanor is infectious and she’s strives to “let her inner girl slay,” her own personal slogan. She also works with several foundations including Saving Our Daughters and the Boys and Girls Club to help empower girls to find their voice, not be shy and truly let their personalities shine. Her idols are Beyoncé, Oprah and Michelle Obama, who she says are the epitome of strong females.

“They never let anyone hold them back. They focused on their goals and achieved them, and are now helping the rest of the community also.” 

Her Role Model

Jasmine also looks up to her mom who followed her own dream of being an attorney while balancing being a mom and wife. Her mom is also the reason she was on the show—she set her up with a surprise audition! “She’s super inspirational to me.”

All in the Family

Another one of Jasmine’s big fans is her 16-year-old brother, Justin. “He thinks my cooking is pretty good,” she says. “Sometimes he asks me to make him things and sometimes I kind of test my recipes on him. He has a good palate.”