Meet 13-year-old Quani of Buford from ‘Masterchef Junior’

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by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Quani Pointer of Buford loves soccer but he loves cooking more, which is why he has made it into the top 18 of the latest season of Fox’s “Masterchef Junior,” which airs Fridays at 8 p.m.

His cooking strength is baking, which he does frequently. He and his paralegal mom Rebecca invited me over to their new home in Buford, which was still empty last week. They brought a KitchenAid mixer and enough supplies to create vanilla cupcakes with marshmallow frosting with chocolate ganache. (“It’s better than fudge,” he said, of ganache.)

Over five episodes, the 13 year old has been on the bottom multiple times but has survived thus far. He’s going to need to start moving up the ranks quickly if he has a realistic shot at winning. “I’m due for a comeback,” he said.

Of the judges, he thinks Gordon Ramsay is the toughest but Joe Bastianich is the scariest. “He just looks at you,” Quani said.

“It’s hard to tell what he thinks,” Rebecca added.

Quani was able to cruise through last week’s wedding catering episode. He was assigned plating so he stayed out of harm’s way. He was just sad to see his good friend Ben get cut. This Friday, they have to cook something based on their heritage but his favorite moment was simply getting a massive amount of sugar dumped on his head.

Quani's Baked Goods - Quani Masterchef Junior

MASTERCHEF: JUNIOR EDITION: L-R: Contestants Quani and Ben in the all-new “Junior Edition: American Classics” episode of MASTERCHEF airing Friday, March 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: FOX. © 2018 / FOX Broadcasting.

As a result of his TV exposure, he’s now semi-famous at his middle school.

“Everyone acts like they know me,” Quani said, with a grin.

And his mom is not at all perturbed that he is now a better cook than she is. “I’m good for the family,” she said. “He’s good for everyone else.”

He’s also a budding entrepreneur. He sells baked goods at he and his brother’s soccer games, often clearing $100 to $200 a pop. He makes cookies and for portability, he and his mom created cupcake sandwiches and sell them at games for $3 apiece. “I try to feed his creativity as much as possible,” Rebecca said.

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