On Saturday, July 16, auditions will be held in New York City for kids 8-13 for the cooking competition show, "MasterChef Junior." We chat with casting director, Gina Gonzalez on what she looks for in a potential contestant to help give your kids a leg up on the competition.

What can a potential contestant do to stand out for the casting directors?
As long as they're excited about auditioning, passionate about cooking, and smiling — they will stand out! We love kids who are super passionate and interested in sharing their lives with us. Whether they wanna tell us about the sports they play, their family or what they love about school — we want to hear about it!

What will you be looking for?
Passion and potential. Kids that really love food and cooking and that are excited about the MasterChef Junior opportunity. Also, kids that want to learn about cooking and get better and better and learn from some of the greatest chefs in the world.

How important are cooking skills in the casting process?
Of course cooking skills are important as this is a cooking competition television show. However, we also like to say that no one ever comes into the MasterChef kitchen as a MasterChef — but they leave as one! MasterChef is a journey for these kids and they learn and grow a lot during the process. So as long as they come with the passion and potential, they'll be on the right track!

What are three do's for a great, professional audition?
Smile, share whatever you can about yourself and your cooking and just be yourself!

Don'ts?
Don't be nervous. We were all kids before just like them!

Favorite part about this show?
The kids! Watching these kids season after season and how incredibly talented they are, and become, is just amazing. Seeing how they look at food and cooking is just inspiring and has honestly inspired me to become quite the home cook!

Kids need to be preregistered for the New York Audition by clicking here.