Logan Guleff prepares salt-encrusted branzino with chimichurri sauce, the second course of a three-course meal for the final cook-off in MasterChef Junior.
For me, getting to know Logan Guleff, newly crowned MasterChef Junior on Fox TV, started with a jar of Jif.
Almost three years ago, Logan’s mom, Kim Guleff, called to let me know that her son, then in the fourth grade, was headed to New York City to compete in a peanut butter sandwich competition sponsored by Jif. Logan, one of five finalists, cooked on the NBC Today show and won money for college.
Several months later, Logan headed to the White House as the Tennessee champion in the Healthy Lunch Challenge sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama. (And yes, Logan also got to meet the president.) He made quinoa and tuna schooners in red pepper boats, and if you’d like to try them yourself, here’s the recipe.
On Tuesday night, Logan aced his biggest competition yet to win $100,000 and the title MasterChef Junior from an initial pool of 20,000 contestants. He cooked a three-course meal, pleasing the judges with spot prawns (aka shrimp) with smoked aioli; salt-encrusted branzino (a darling of Mediterranean fish plates); and Meyer lemon madeleine with goat cheese mousse and berry compote.
Wow. He made French madeleines, those wonderful cake-like cookies shaped like scallops. No wonder Logan, who is 12, already has a LinkedIn page.
Here at Memphis Stew, we couldn’t be any happier to see such a charming and talented young man secure a prominent place in our city’s emerging food scene. And if we can convince Logan to share his madeleine recipe, we will pass it along.