He’s a real food fighter!
“I wrestle for my high school team and I do MMA after school, which is Mixed Martial Arts — kickboxing, boxing, jujitsu…” he says.
“I have done competitive team sports before, but [wrestling] is one on one. In a baseball game if you lose, it is not 100 percent your fault. But if you lose a wresting match, it is all your fault. So you have to put your game face on.”
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Troy, 14, is always up for a challenge.
“I had seen the show before so I took the opportunity and I thought it would be fun,” he says.
“It is different from MASTERCHEF because this is the first time they have done it with kids. On MCJ, it was kids versus kids. But here it is kids versus adults which is something I have never seen before. So it was fun to test my skills and see how I did against them.”
Here’s more of what Troy told me when we reconnected a few days ago:
You would think the adults would have a natural advantage. Is there any reason people would think you had a leg up?
I am not putting myself down, but they definitely know more than I do. They have been doing it longer than I have been alive. But maybe sometimes they would get nervous and overthink it…or under think it.
What have you been up to since MASTERCHEF JUNIOR?
I did MASTERCHEF when I was in the 7th grade. I was a freshman in high school last year, so that (took) a little more time to focus. I wrestle for my high school team and I have to do MMA after school which is Mixed Martial Arts — kickboxing, boxing jujitsu, which is groundwork. Wresting is so fun. It is a real fun environment. All the people are super nice. Cooking helps me out because I know healthier foods to cook, mores than some of the other kids on my team. I know that if I need to cut weight, I can eat the proper foods.
How did the experience of being on MASTERCHEF JUNIOR and suddenly becoming kind of famous impact your life going into 8th and 9th grade?
I have gotten noticed in public, which is cool I guess. But with my friends at school, it doesn’t affect them. It is always weird to say, but it is cool that I have fans or a following. I just happy that there are people who look up to me and respect me and think that what I do is cool.
Are you still in touch with the other kids from the show?
Yeah, yeah. Dara [the bow girl] lives in L.A. so I talk to her and hang out with her sometimes. Rowan, my buddy in New York… I flew out to New York last summer and hung out with him. I keep in touch with Alexander, the winner…
Have you had any contact recently with Gordon Ramsay?
Not lately but I know I am on his radar and he knows who I am.
What can you tell your fans about FOOD FIGHTERS — without giving too much away?
Experience-wise, it was amazing. Rocco Dispirito is so nice. The finishes were a bit close some times. It was a little stressful because you are very restricted on time and you are going up against someone who has probably cooked that dish many, many times. But it was a great experience.
Next season will you wrestle Rocco Dispirito?
Hopefully. (laughs) I would probably win. I got moves.
Does it make you crazy that you are still a bit to young to give Rocco your resume and ask for a job?
I don’t think I am too young at all. I have done quite a few things and have some pretty cool experiences under my belt, cooking wise. And I am only going to grow that over the years. [Rocco] definitely knows who I am now. Just like Gordon. I am on his radar. So hopefully when I am older I can meet up with him one day and talk about jobs.
FOOD FIGHTERS airs Thursdays at 8:00 PM on NBC.
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