Former first lady Michelle Obama made an appearance on an episode of Fox’s “MasterChef Junior” that aired Thursday night. It was one of the rare occasions when former President Barack Obama’s wife was seen on national television since they left the White House in January this year.
The episode, shot when the Obamas were still in office, began with host and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay placing a call asking to speak with the “the boss of the house. …no, not him, I need the real boss of the house.” Soon after, a screen dropped from the ceiling, with Michelle Obama appearing on it.
“I’m Michelle Obama, and tonight, I am thrilled to deliver your next mystery box challenge. Please head back to your stations,” the then-first lady, one of the most loved ones in recent history, said in the episode.
The participants, 14 young cooks, aged between 8 and 13, opened the mystery boxes, a weekly contest on the show, revealing ingredients that looked to promote healthy eating, inspired by the kitchen garden of the Obamas’ then-official residence, the White House.
“For your mystery box challenge, I’m asking all of you to come up with an original recipe that’s healthy and follows the ‘my plate’ symbol, filling half your plate with fruits and veggies, and the rest with whole grains, lean protein and dairy,” Michelle Obama told the young chefs.
While many were disappointed at the presence of vegetables in the mystery box, the children worked hard to win the offered incentive — a trip to the White House to attend the annual kids’ state dinner.
The challenge was won by Justise Mayberry with her pan-seared shrimp and sautéed bell peppers, carrots, eggplant and quinoa. The 11-year-old attended the state dinner in July 2016, and an exclusive video of her experience was released by Fox on YouTube.
Mayberry also got an opportunity to interview Michelle Obama, who she asked to give advice to other young chefs like herself. The former first lady replied: “There is nothing more important that you can do for yourself than to get an education. Doing your best not just in the kitchen, but you’ve got to be your best in the classroom. I want you all to keep pushing and preparing yourself for college and doing well.”