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'Master Chef Jr': meet The Top 24 contestants

Masterchef Junior contestant Ben
Photo Credit: FOX
Gordon Ramsay has another challenge on his hands when Twenty-four young chef-testants – 12 girls and 12 boys  will compete on the next season of "MasterChef Junior." Judges Ramsay, Christina Tosi and Joe Bastianich chose the Top 24 from among 40 talented junior home cooks, and one of these kids will be named America’s next "Masterchef Junior," taking home the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR trophy and a $100,000 grand prize.

In this week’s all-new episode, “Culinary ABC’s,” airing Friday, March 9 (8:00 p.m. ET/PT) on FOX, the Top 24 face their first mystery box challenge of the season, during which they must cook dishes using ingredients that start with each letter of the alphabet. 

The winner receives a huge advantage in the elimination challenge. Later in the "Masterchef Junior" episode, the contestants must prove their technical skills as they are tasked with crafting a French classic – fruit tart.

Meet the "Masterchef Junior" Top 24 and find out their signature dishes:

Anthony Age: 10
Hometown: Old Bridge, NJ
Signature Dish: Veal Meatballs with Homemade Spaghetti and Italian Tomato Sauce

Age: 12
Hometown: Excelsior, MN
Signature Dish: Kalbi Short Ribs

Age: 8
Hometown: Kingwood, TX
Signature Dish: Asiago Meatballs with Spinach Pasta

Age: 10
Hometown: Gary, IN
Signature Dish: Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes

Age: 9
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Signature Dish: Garlic-Lime Chicken with Mixed Barley with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

Age: 11
Hometown: Hattiesburg, MS
Signature Dish: Blackened Catfish with Praline Sauce

Age: 13
Hometown: Fleming Island, FL
Signature Dish: Medium-Rare Sirloin Steak with Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes

Age: 9
Hometown: Sylmar, CA
Signature Dish: Tamales with Homemade Red Sauce

Age: 11
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Signature Dish: Baked Lemon-Cumin Chicken Breast with Balsamic Glaze

Age: 9
Hometown: Cardiff by the Sea, CA
Signature Dish: Dijon Scallops with Lemon-Zested Spinach

Age: 11
Hometown: St. Francisville, LA
Signature Dish: Jambalaya

Age: 9
Hometown: Katy, TX
Signature Dish: Grilled-Shrimp-and-Cream-Cheese-Stuffed Jalapenos Wrapped in Bacon

Age: 8
Hometown: St.Louis, MO
Signature Dish: Cheese-Stuffed Turkey Burgers with Onions, Lettuce and Avocado

Age: 10
Hometown: Elk Rapids, MI
Signature Dish: Homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sautéed Leeks, Shiitake Mushrooms and Garlic Butter

Age: 9
Hometown: Newhall, CA
Signature Dish: Cheddar Cheese Garlic Burger with Homemade French Fries

Age: 8
Hometown: Northridge, CA
Signature Dish: Pork Chops with Tostones (Fried Plantains), Rice and Beans

Age: 10
Hometown: Clarendon Hills, IL
Signature Dish: Garlic Shrimp Linguine with Butter and Olive Oil Sauce

Age: 10
Hometown: New York, NY
Signature Dish: Pork Chop with Chutney

Age: 10
Hometown: Oak Park, IL
Signature Dish: Homemade Rosemary Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Age: 11
Hometown: Lawrenceville, GA
Signature Dish: Homemade Fettuccine with Meat Sauce

Age: 12
Hometown: New York, NY
Signature Dish: Shrimp Scampi in Curry Sauce

Age: 12
Hometown: Huntington Woods, MI
Signature Dish: Mascarpone-Stuffed Chicken

Age: 12
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
Signature Dish: Macadamia-Crusted Fish with Grilled Pineapple

Age: 9
Hometown: Pasadena, CA
Signature Dish: Spaghetti Bolognese

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