How this rising ACF Chef got into the industry

by Jocelyn Tolbert
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Camson (right) on “Masterchef Junior,” Courtesy of FOX

Fourteen-year-old Fleming Island, Florida native Camson Alevy grew up in the kitchen with his parents. At age eight, he started cooking.

“The first thing I can remember cooking is eggs,” he says. “I started out with regular scrambled eggs, then sunny side up, then I moved to poached. I just kept elevating it.”

In July 2016, there was a casting call in nearby Jacksonville for the FOX show “Masterchef Junior,” and he decided to give it a shot. A few rounds of auditions later, Alevy was cast for the show’s sixth season, which aired this past spring. He made it to the top 15 contestants before being eliminated on April 6 — but not before he caught the attention of his local ACF chapter, who in April made Alevy the new youngest member of the ACF.

How did you react when you found out you were cast for the show?
When I got the phone call, I was at a relative’s house and I was with all my siblings. It was the most joyous moment. I was just so excited that I was going to meet all these kids that have this similar interest of cooking.

What was your favorite thing about being on “Masterchef Junior”?
My favorite thing was just meeting all the kids. We made so many good friendships. A lot of the kids I still talk to — two days ago I met up with Quani in Atlanta. We’re all in a group chat.

Would you do something like that again?
As much as I would want to be on another reality show, I don’t know if any of them can top “Masterchef Junior.”

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Camson (right) on “Masterchef Junior,” Courtesy of FOX

What’s your favorite thing about cooking?
My favorite thing is just how relaxing it is, and how creative you get to be. You can take something that’s very basic and hasn’t been created before, and you get to make a masterpiece.  You put your own spin on it.

Relaxing? You just finished being on a reality show!
It depends on when it’s relaxing! When you’re cooking at home, for your family, it’s soothing.

Now that your time on the show is over, what did you learn?
The biggest thing I’ve learned is being able to cook under pressure. Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi [watching me], and having the opportunity to possibly win $100,000, made it really stressful. But it made me a better cook.

What’s your favorite cooking implement?
I love cats, and this Christmas, because my parents and my sister and my brother know me so well, they got me a spatula that’s the face of a cat. It’s so funny and I love using it.

Whom do you love to cook for?
As stressful as it was to cook for Gordon Ramsay, I did love cooking for him. But the gold medal has to go to my family just because of how much I love them. My favorite thing to make for them is homemade pasta. It’s a nice, long process, and it never gets old.

Is there anyone whom it would make you nervous to cook for?
I don’t know if you could get any more nerve-racking than cooking for Gordon Ramsay!

Was he like his on-screen persona?
Gordon was a lot nicer to the kids than he is on his other shows. I think he’s trying to get the best out of you. He’s like a father figure.

What’s one dish that you think everyone should know how to make?
I think everyone should know how to make eggs, or breakfast stuff. If you’re able to do something like that, then you’re able to wake up early in the morning and keep elevating your skills.

Do want to be a chef when you grow up?
As much as I love cooking, I have so many other interests. I love acting. I love soccer. I love eating. I’ve always thought that maybe a food critic would be somewhere in the realm of what I could do. I’ve still got some time to choose.

What would be your best one-sentence advice to other aspiring young chefs?
Hmm… Be bold, with flavor.