Addison was born and lived in Oakland, CA until she was 8 years old. In Oakland, she developed her love for good food and cooking, sports and acting.
She learned to bake bread at her preschool and cooked with fresh ingredients from her elementary school garden. Being immersed in the many rich cultures of the Bay Area exposed Addison to a variety of flavors and cooking methods from a young age. She and her older sister, Kaelen, even started a business called “Backyard Foods” which featured baked goods made with fruit picked from their own backyard. For her 5th birthday, Addison asked for (and received) a juicer.
At the age of 8 Addison and her family moved to the Chicago area to be closer to her extended family. It was not easy for Addison to leave all of her Oakland friends and activities behind. It was then that Addison took her cooking to the next level, often coming home from school and asking to do elaborate “baking projects”. She became fascinated with cooking and baking videos on YouTube and frequently went directly from watching videos to the kitchen to try things out and put her own spin on recipes.
In 2014, when her family heard that MasterChef Junior was casting in Chicago, her father agreed to take her immediately. She loved the auditioning process and received a call-back from the show producers right away. Addison was one of twenty-four young chefs from around the country cast on season 4 of the show. She went on to be the first female and youngest MasterChef Junior champion at the age of nine years old winning the championship with her Miso-Glazed Black Cod in a Coconut Ginger Broth over Jade Rice.
Winning MasterChef Junior led to multiple television and media appears including cooking demonstrations and interviews on the Late Late Show with James Corden, Hollywood Today Live, Good Day LA and The Steve Harvey Show.
At what age do you remember being drawn to cooking and why?
I remember cooking beginning when I was three years old. I loved being in the kitchen and I loved adding different things into simple recipes. I cooked with my parents and then I learned to bake bread at my preschool in Oakland, CA.
What dish might your recommend as a first try for kids interested in cooking?
I would recommend a pasta dish. You can use store bought pasta or even homemade pasta is easier to make than most people think. A pasta with a homemade marinara or pesto or pomodoro sauce. Most kids like pasta and know how they like it to taste. Baking is also a good way to get started. You can be really creative and have fun with baking.
Tips for Back to School lunch items: What’s in your lunchbox?
I prefer a variety of things for my school lunches. I think it’s great if kids can help packing their own lunches so that they have things they know they like and will eat. I don’t like sandwiches so instead I bring lettuce wraps, soups, cheese and different fruits and vegetables.
How has winning MasterChef Junior changed your life?
It has been amazing. I’m busier cooking and doing events and television appearances. I also get to meet lots of cool people, other chefs and people interested in the food and restaurant business. I have learned so much and had so much fun.
What is your advice for kids interested in cooking?
My advice for kids interested in cooking would be to take risks and try new things. Always be confident in yourself and it is ok if it doesn’t work out, just have fun and learn from your mistakes.
What is your favorite dish to make?
I love making meringues. I make them all of the time. I also love all kinds of baking and I like to make cakes for special occasions. I make homemade three cheese ravioli with homemade pesto a lot because everyone in my family loves that.
Do you enjoy cooking on your BlueStar?
I love cooking on our new BlueStar. There is plenty of room for everything and anything I bake comes out perfect!