US MasterChef Junior contestant Ben Watkins has died at aged 14

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The culinary world is mourning the death of Ben Watkins, who appeared in season six of the US competition, died on Monday (16 November) after a year-and-a-half long cancer battle.

It was gathered that the beloved MasterChef Junior contestant, who competed on the show during its 2018 season, was diagnosed with angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma — a soft-tissue tumor that has only affected six people.

Watkins aspired to become a chef following the murder-suicide of his parents in 2017, as his father owned a barbecue and deli restaurant in their hometown of Gary, Indiana.

He would go on to place in the top 18 of his MasterChef season, inspiring viewers and fellow contestants alike with his remarkable optimism and passion for food.

“Ben, you were an incredibly talented home cook and even stronger young man,” MasterChef host Gordon Ramsay wrote on social media. “Your young life had so many tough turns but you always persevered. Sending all the love to Ben Watkins’ family with this terrible loss.”

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