Spend one minute with 10-year-old MasterChef Jr. contestant Matthew Smith, and you'll agree that his enthusiasm and passion for cooking is contagious. (Seriously, what positive energy!)
"Sometimes people get shy, and I think it's because they tend to care what people think," Matthew tells Rach about his infectious personality. "But what I like to say is, 'It's your life. Don't care about what other people think!'"
YES, Matthew! ?
As for his love of cooking, "I always loved to play around in the kitchen with plastic toys, pretending like I [knew] how to cook," he explains. "But when I really started to cook, not using plastic toys, I was about 6 or 7."
Well, getting into the kitchen young paid off, because earlier this year, Matthew got the chance to compete on MasterChef Jr. "My experience on 'MasterChef Jr.' was everything I could wish for," the young chef from Livingston, New Jersey, says. "I was just so fortunate."
"If you have a dream and you go for it," he goes on, "anything's possible."
These days, he continues to inspire fans on Instagram — where he has nearly 2,000 followers!
"I love to inspire people," Matthew says, "and I'm just so fortunate that people actually want to take the time to look up to me. My biggest advice for other young cooks is to cook what you love."
What does Matthew love to cook? Pan-seared filet mignon with a Greek salad and tzatziki. Uhm, YUM! (On our show, he whipped up a Warm Tomato Salsa with Rainbow Chard Stems to go with Rach's Philly Steak Quesadillas.)
"When I grow up, I want to have a farm-to-table restaurant," he tells us. "I strongly believe that people should learn how to farm for themselves again, because then they learn how to cook in season, eat in season, have fresh food and overall, live a delicious, healthy and fresh life."
We're not exactly sure how this smart little guy is only 10 years old, but we're sure of one thing — we can't wait to visit his restaurant one day!