Ben Watkins, mostly known for gracing the ‘MasterChef Junior’ stage with his skill and culinary knowledge, has died. He was 14.
After a year-and-a-half-long battle against cancer, the season 6 ‘MasterChef Junior’ contestant died on Monday. Ben Watkins’ relatives shared on social media via attorney Trent McCain. His unfortunate passing comes less than five months after his angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma diagnosis and nearly three years after his parents died in a murder-suicide.
“After losing both his parents in September 2017, we have marveled at Ben’s strength, courage, and love for life,” his Grandmother and Uncle wrote. “He never, ever complained. Ben was and will always be the strongest person we know.“
Ben Watkins on ‘MasterChef Junior ‘
Ben Watkins joined the 2018 season of ‘MasterChef Junior’ when he was 11 years old. Throughout his time on the Gordon Ramsey-hosted show, he created a range of dishes – ranging from fruit tarts and milkshakes. He, along with fellow contestant Gracie Howard, faced the chopping block during the season’s fifth episode titled “Recipe for Love.”
In addition to flaunting his culinary skills on television, he also cooked at his family’s now-shuttered restaurant. It was called; “Big Ben’s Bodacious Barbecue, Baker & Deli” in Indiana.
Back in August Ben Watkins’ fellow competitors and members of the ‘MasterChef’ family shared a video offering him messages of support and love. Angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma is an incredibly rare soft tissue tumor that has affected only six people – including young Ben Watkins.
On Tuesday, Gordon Ramsey took to his Twitter to mourn the ‘MasterChef Junior’ contestant on social media.
He wrote; “Ben you were an incredibly talented home cook and even stronger young man. Your young life had so many tough turns but you always persevered.” He continued, “Sending all the love to Ben Watkins’ family with this terrible loss Gx.”
Fox also shared their condolences in a statement:
“It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Ben Watkins, a beloved member of the ‘MasterChef Junior’ family. Ben overcame so much in his life with a remarkably positive attitude. He was a tremendous role model for chefs of all ages and will be dearly missed by everyone at EndemolShine North America and FOX Entertainment.”
He is survived by his grandmother; Donna Edwards and uncle; Anthony Edwards.
A GoFundMe was created to help raise donations for his treatment. However, it now a memorial fund for Ben Watkins.