Alfred Ballesteros, and Fercho Nolla, producers of the Mexican version of MasterChef Junior

Producers of MasterChef Junior Mexico: It’s a challenge to add creativity and stamp our label to such an established format
Aliana González, Mexico City|04 de marzo de 2022

Adding creativity to a completely established format was one of the main challenges faced by the producers of the Mexican version MasterChef Junior, Alfred Ballesteros, and Fercho Nolla. The show (an original format of Banijay Rights) premiered on Friday the 25th on Azteca Uno at 7:30pm. It’s being hosted by Tatiana, and the judges are Betty Vázquez, José Ramón Castillo and Francisco Noriega.

“In this type of format, especially when there have been several seasons, the creative renewal process becomes a very difficult, but interesting challenge. Analyzing the program from the point of view of creative production to be able to approach it in such a way that you can give the project that signature, that it feels renewed, different,” said Ballesteros, who added that they are very happy with the result. “It comes with our stamp,” added Fercho.

Among the surprises, they have included different themes for each program, such as a “pirate day” with seafood. The original song for the show, sung by Tatiana, is another novelty. "It is the first MasterChef in the world that has a song for the program sung by the host," Nolla said, after promising many more from the first chapter, such as the way that the participants are eliminated.

Another element that will surprise is the wardrobe. “It is crazy, both for the chefs and the host, because being children makes it suitable for having a little more fun and making it more fun,” said Fercho. In addition, field trips challenges off the set were also included.

"The set also has a lot of colors. It was a long process, months, to come up with the design we wanted. It took us a while to come up with a nice concept, that wasn't like colors in a blender. Everyone who walks on set is amazed," Ballesteros said. The project takes three months of pre-production and two months of recording.

In order to deepen the children's relationship with Tatiana, a prior training process was carried out. Ballesteros explained that regarding the eliminations, the children have been very mature. "There is a protocol in how to deal with the children and a psychology department," he said, after noting that although children express themselves very honestly and show their disappointment, they are very intelligent in managing their emotions.

Alfred Ballesteros and Fercho Nolla are a duo that has been working together for 14 years and are known as "Los Fercho", which already is a brand in the Mexican audiovisual industry. Writers and directors, as well as producers, have written series, telenovelas, unitary shows, in addition to working on various reality shows, such as La Voz México for Televisa; Big Brother, among others. The last one was Who is the mask? for television.

Finally, they explained that the casting for the third season of MasterChef Junior was difficult because it was online. In addition, they were surprised to find a lot of talent, children who know how to cook, which was essential to classify. Personalities were another element. However, with children being so spontaneous, it is much more natural for them to express themselves and show who they really are, without the many layers that usually adults have. "There is a lot of comedy because of this contrast of children cooking. They make mischief, they annoy, and they make everything very funny. It is very special to see them on screen," said Fercho.