Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Disability Pride Month Feature: Meet Miles Platt, Kid Chef from MasterChef Junior Season 9 Who Has an Upper Limb Difference

 To celebrate Disability Pride Month, I had the great pleasure of interviewing a remarkable young man with a disability and a star of one of my favorite TV programs. 


Miles Platt, 11, of College Station, TX, sat down with me via Zoom to discuss his incredible run on MasterChef Jr., a Fox show featuring the most talented kid chefs in America. 


Platt, who has a congenital limb difference called symbrachydactyly, was born without part of his left arm. But Miles and his family do not see his limb difference as a shortcoming. 


Said mom Angela Platt, who learned of her son’s disability at birth, [Miles] “is not missing anything. He was born the exact way he was meant to be born.” Ms. Platt shared that this perspective shapes how she talks to Miles and others about his limb difference. 


She was quick to emphasize that “we [as parents] never want him to feel ashamed,” and adds that “we want him to try anything and everything he wants” even if it requires some extra creativity and adaptation. 


Miles was invited to audition for MasterChef Jr. Season 9 after casting noticed his cooking videos on his mom’s Instagram page. Miles has been cooking since the age of five and helping his parents in the kitchen soon blossomed into Miles himself taking the helm. 


Miles’s passion and skill stood out among the nearly 12,000 young chefs who applied, and when the pool was narrowed to 500 kids, he was challenged to showcase his culinary prowess in a live demo on Zoom. 


From there, the group was pared to 100, and eventually, the top 25 were brought to California to audition live and complete a series of interviews. Finally, Miles was chosen for the top 12, the group of young people featured on the show. He placed eighth in the competition and captured the hearts of many viewers at home with his kind and gentle nature.


Miles shared that days on set were action-packed, with a different challenge presented by the judges each day. However, the young chefs still had to make time for several hours of schooling amid a busy filming schedule. 


He described a studio kitchen teeming with every ingredient imaginable, joking that when looking for scallops, he happened upon a more obscure item he had never heard of—baby pearl onions. 


Miles spoke with unusual poise and maturity about recipes unfamiliar to me as an (aspiring) adult. He also reflected fondly on the bonds he formed with his fellow contestants, which his mom emphasized were not just for show. 


She remarked that these young competitors are “actually friends” and spent their time in the kitchen cheering for each other. Ms. Platt added that another parent said it best. The kids are “in competition with the challenge, not necessarily each other,” and they want to see their friends excel. 


In addition to enjoying his new friendships, Miles has enjoyed the opportunity to represent people with disabilities on the show and remind them that they too have a place in the kitchen. 


When I asked him about his adaptive strategies to make cooking more accessible, he told me about a is modified cutting board that assists in holding an item and allows for one-handed use. The cutting board now available on Amazon and represents an expanding selection of inclusive culinary tools making their way out of high-priced rehab catalogues and into the mainstream market. 


When asked to share his message about living with a disability, he said that “just because you have a disability or a limb difference, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do what everyone else can.” In other words, he warned others not to make assumptions about people with disabilities and believes that there are many ways to make an activity inclusive.


Miles’s mother, Angela, is excited and “blown away” that Miles “has been able to use his disability and his story to show others they have a beautiful place in this world.” 


Before pursuing MasterChef, the family discussed the pros and cons of media attention, knowing that “not everyone is kind, especially to people with disabilities.” 


Ultimately, Miles decided to go for it, and his message has resonated, especially for people with disabilities eager to see themselves and their stories reflected in the media. Ms. Platt said her son’s embrace of his own story and excitement to represent has left both Miles’s dad and her “overwhelmed with pride.”


She cited Miles as the reason they are aware of a beautiful limb difference community, which they knew little about before his birth. 


Miles recently shared via Instagram that he would be a special guest at a family weekend for the Lucky Fin Project, an organization that supports families of those with limb differences. 


His talents extend beyond the kitchen to an array of hobbies including surfing, rock-climbing, drawing, and crocheting. He and his family love to give back, and every year since he was five, they host a fundraiser for Miles’s birthday to benefit a community cause. This year, Miles chose to collect duffle bags for children in foster care, and since the inception of his annual fundraisers, has collected an estimated $22,000 for various causes. 


Ms. Platt knows Miles has “opened our eyes” and “taught us to love others better” in just 11 years of life. 


Lucky for us, Miles Platt is just getting started. 


This July, I am honored to highlight him among many amazing individuals who embody disability pride and power. 


To learn more about Miles and follow his cooking adventures, you can visit him on Instagram.



Miles Platt, a young white boy with blondish hair cooking with an adaptive cutting board designed to hold an item in place. He was born without part of his left arm, resulting in an upper limb difference

                            Access description: Miles Platt, a young white boy with blondish hair cooking with an adaptive cutting board designed to hold an item in place. He was born without part of his left arm, resulting in an upper limb difference.

A black flag for disability pride featuring various stripes representing different diagnosis groups

                               Access description: A black flag for disability pride featuring various stripes representing different diagnosis groups.



  1. Amazing story! Very inspirational! Thank you Kathleen for highlighting Miles! Very well written!

  2. There are so many ways to make kitchens and dining rooms accessible and inclusive.

    A few weeks ago I was reading about Ali Stroker on Julia Turshen's Substack - she had so many things about making the kitchen physically accessible to her and to others.


    Pride, power and baby pearl onions!

    What more could we wish for Disability Pride Month?

    Thinking about how Miles's autonomy continues to be supported and how he is building a great community with the other Junior Masterchefs and the people around.

  3. Inspiring story Love it. Thank you for sharing it.