A Hudson Valley 16-year-old will be sitting next to Gordon Ramsey on Thursday night's episode of MasterChef Junior.

In 2019 Che Spiotta made headlines after being declared the winner of the Fox cooking competition. The Ulster County resident was in the 7th grade at the time and dedicated his win to his father, who had recently passed away.

After cooking up pan-seared prawns, veal saltimbocca and a flourless chocolate cake, the Onteora middle school student walked away with the $100,000 grand prize and title of MasterChef Junior.

YouTube/MasterChef on Fox
YouTube/MasterChef on Fox

Now a high school student, Spiotta is making his return to the reality series. But this time he's serving as a judge. During the episode, Gordon Ramsey tells the contestants that a special guest is about to enter the kitchen. Before revealing Spiotta, Ramsey introduces him as someone who knows how to handle the "heat." The contestants immediately guess that it's Che and begin to squeal with delight as he is revealed as a guest judge.

The show will feature a Mystery Nut Box Challenge that will task the young chefs with using a surprise ingredient that turns out to be walnuts. The Ulster County teen recently told Parade magazine that the elimination challenge features one of his favorite culinary techniques.

I come in for the elimination challenge, and it’s all about flambé. I love flambéing. That’s when you’re cooking something, sautéing it, or whatever and it’s in a pan with alcohol and you set it aflame. It’s this beautiful thing; it makes some delicious dishes.

The episode will air on Thursday, April 21 at 8pm on Fox.

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