Just hours ago, news emerged that MasterChef Junior alum, Ben Watkins, has tragically passed away at the age of just 14.
Ben was a fan favorite on the show, especially once viewers learnt about his tragic family history, and he finished up in the final 18.
In the show’s premier episode, which had 40 contestants between the ages of 8 and 13 competing for 24 slots and a chance at a $100,000 prize in the finale, Ben won the final white apron of the night.
He did so by making a peach cobbler with whipped cream and caramel sauce.
Now Gordon Ramsay, who hosts MasterChef Junior, has shared a heartbreaking tribute to Ben.
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Ben Watkins, a beloved member of the MasterChef Junior family. Ben overcame so much in his life with a remarkably positive attitude. He was a tremendous role model for chefs of all ages and will be dearly missed by everyone at EndemolShine North America and FOX Entertainment.
His death was confirmed by his family, who wrote:
Our Ben went home to be with his mother this afternoon after a year-and-a-half-long battle with cancer. Ben suffered more than his share in his fourteen years on this Earth, but we take solace in that his suffering is finally over and in that, in the end, Ben knew he was loved by so many.
Rest in peace Ben.