Gordon Ramsay donated $50K to 'MasterChef Junior' star Ben Watkins's cancer treatment before he died

Raechal Shewfelt
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·2 min read

Gordon Ramsay is infamously tough on his contestants in Hell’s Kitchen, but he showed a much kinder side when he donated $50,000 to MasterChef Junior contestant Ben Watkins, as the 14-year-old underwent treatment for cancer.

Watkins, who was 14, died Nov. 16 at Lurie Chidren’s Hospital of Chicago. He appeared on the cooking competition, where Ramsay sits on the judging panel, when he was 11 in the spring of 2018. About two years later, Watkins was diagnosed with angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma, a rare soft tissue tumor. He began chemotherapy treatment for tumors in his shoulder, spine and lungs on July 30, according to the Chicago Tribune.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14:  Gordon Ramsay attends 2018 Fox Network Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 14, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Gordon Ramsay attends 2018 Fox Network Upfront at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)

Many of the teen’s former co-stars and Ramsay himself sent him a video full of well wishes in August. They also asked people to donate to a GoFundMe page that had been set up for Watkins and his family. (The aspiring restaurateur lived with his grandmother and uncle, because his parents died in an apparent murder-suicide in 2017.)

“If you can beat me in the [MasterChef Junior] kitchen, trust me, you can beat this,” Ramsay said. “God bless and lots of love, buddy.”

After Watkins’s death, Ramsay called him an “incredibly talented home cook and even stronger young man.”

The tributes to Watkins continued to pour in Friday. More than $206,000 had been contributed to that fund. TMZ also reported Friday that MasterChef Junior is “trying to come up with a way to honor him.”

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