By Sean Daly
Special To TheTVAddict.com
It’s a mystery voice box challenge!
The parents of “MasterChef Junior” finalist Josh Reisner admit doctors are still trying to figure out what is causing the sixth grader’s voice to constantly squeak and crack.
“The more he speaks during the day, the more it cracks,” his father, Brad Reiser, says.
“It has been this way pretty much since he started talking. We have had the doctor check it out and this is just kind of his voice.”
Though the Queens resident is not in any pain, “we have had a lot of people contact us saying, ‘You should check that out,’” Reisner says. “So we are probably going to have it checked again.”
Josh, 11, is one of eight contestants remaining on the Fox cooking competition.
“It has been such a great experience,” the aspiring chef and food critic tells me.
“I have gained so much confidence and I get to brag that I have cooked for some of the greatest chefs in the world.”
Josh — who one day hopes to open a restaurant called Josh’s Comfort & Bistro — shared more about the show, his life and what he really thinks of school cafeteria food in our exclusive interview.
Last week you were tied to Oona for a baking challenge. What was that like?
Josh Reisner: It was weird but it was kind of fun, I have to admit. Me and Oona are very good friends. I think when you are tied together it is kind of hard. A lot of people would think if you are making one thing it would be easier, but it’s not.
What is the best part about being from Queens?
It is so ethnically diverse with food. Queens has a lot of flavor. You have a lot of Indian food, a lot of Spanish cuisine. There are just so many neighborhoods that represent so many flavors. New Yorkers are just so different with their foods.
When you go to school, do you buy the cafeteria food?
The cafeteria food is hard to explain. The presentation is awful. It smells really bad. Sometime I will get a sandwich. But lately I have started to pack myself some healthy things like cheese, ravioli, roasted beef, boiled potatoes. I am taking a more healthier approach.
Will you be cooking Thanksgiving dinner?
Oh yes! I am cooking a lot with my mom. I am cooking the turkey, a few pies and the mashed potatoes. I have made the turkey for the past three years. [It] takes like 6 to 7 hours.
Do your siblings help?
I have one sister and she is 7 years-old. I teach her how to cook. We have made French toast and dumplings. She doesn’t eat as much as me and doesn’t have as much of a passion for eating as I do, but I am teaching her. She is getting there.
What other talents do you have besides cooking? Are you good at sports?
I am not really good at your regular sports like basketball. But I am pretty good at rock climbing. And I am actually a daredevil at skiing! I am also very good at the drums. I have played drums for about a year and a half.
What did you think the first time you saw yourself on TV?
I looked for a pillow to hide under. [laughs] I was proud of myself, but it is really weird. You go through all of that pressure and then you see yourself doing that and it is like a flashback. I really love seeing myself and it is so awesome. I look at some of the top celebrities these days and, like, oh my gosh, I am one of them.
Do people ask you for your autograph?
I have gotten some celebrity sightings. At the park, somebody wanted to take a picture with me. Somebody at a burger restaurant wanted to talk to me. It is very weird.
You have such a refined palate. Do you ever go to McDonalds?
No. [I like] In-N-Out and Five Guys. If you are up for a burger, In-N-Out and Five Guys are great. And Gray’s Papaya is good for hot dogs.
Is there any food that you won’t eat.
I am not a fan of broccoli. I think broccoli is a little boring. Cauliflower is my favorite, but broccoli is not for me.
Tell us something cool and unusual about yourself.
My middle name is M. No period. Just M. The kids in my school make fun of me for that. I am named after my great-grandpa. I am Josh M Reisner.
Seen any good movies lately?
‘Chef’ is a good movie. See, I told you. Everything is about food for me. [laughs]
Do you watch anything on TV that is not on Food Network?
‘Modern Family’ is good. MasterChef is good. Hell’s Kitchen I love watching. Him yelling at those chefs is just so fun.
Do you prefer him when he is yelling or being the nice guy?
When he is disappointed, I would rather him be yelling at me because it goes faster. When he is nice… On ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ he is always yelling. But on ‘MasterChef Junior’ he is always nice. I think the real him is so nice. I think he is probably the nicest judge on the show.
‘MasterChef Junior’ airs Tuesdays at 8:00 PM on Fox.
Sean Daly writes about television for TheTVPage.com