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Teen Chef From Highland Park To Take National Stage

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A 13-year-old boy from Highland Park will be on national TV starting next week, as he competes on the upcoming season of the reality show MasterChef Junior.

WBBM Newsradio's Regine Schlesinger reports 8th grader Levi Eirinberg taped the show last year, when he was 12. He's not allowed to say whether he won, but he had to be quite a gourmet chef just to compete.

"Everyone on the show is just amazing, and has a great talent at cooking, and it's a very hard competition," Levi said.

He's been cooking for five years.

"I really started when I first got my chocolate fondue maker when I was around 8. I got it as a birthday gift, and from that it really started my passion of cooking food," he said.


His signature dishes include New York strip steak with a red wine reduction, Dijon-glazed Brussels sprouts, and pan-seared organic Scottish salmon with mustard-maple glaze.

Levi's mother said he's taken over most of the cooking for the family.

"Often, I get texts in the middle of the day, where he'll shoot me an idea for a recipe, and ask me if I can stop at the store to pick up ingredients," Karla Eirinberg said.

Win or lose on MasterChef Junior, Levi said he has no doubts about his future as a professional chef.

"I'm already planning my new restaurant. It's going to be called Leeves. It's going to be a very fancy restaurant," he said. "I'm planning to do a lot with it. I've been planning this for a while."

The new season of MasterChef Junior premieres Nov. 4 on Fox.

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