Michelle Obama: Former First Lady appears on Master Chef Junior

Maya Oppenheim
Contestants lifted the lids of their weekly mystery boxes to bare ingredients inspired by the White House kitchen garden: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SXSW

Those who hoped Michelle Obama would run for president will be saddened to hear the former first lady is turning her attentions towards food rather than politics.

Ms Obama, who has held consistently high approval ratings, made an appearance on Master Chef Junior on Thursday night. President Obama's wife was a special guest on the mystery challenge segment of the children's reality TV cooking program.

"I'm Michelle Obama, and tonight, am thrilled to deliver your next mystery box challenge. Please head back to your stations," she said.

The young contestants became visibly excited about the outgoing first lady’s presence, shrieking in surprise and running over to their kitchen stations.

"I'm like, about to die. RIP me, oh my God. I mean, Michelle Obama is a wonder woman and I look up to her so much. She is my idol," Jasmine, an 11-year-old contestant, said.

Contestants lifted the lids of their weekly mystery boxes to bare ingredients inspired by the White House kitchen garden.

"For your mystery box challenge, I'm asking all of you to come up with an original recipe that's healthy and follows the 'my plate' symbol, filing half your plate with fruits and veggies, and the rest with whole grains, lean protein and dairy," Ms Obama instructed.

But not every contestant was pleased about the challenge which was taped when Mr Obama was in office. Donnovan who is just nine years of age said: "Michelle Obama wants me to cook vegetables. Not happening. I don't like vegetables, they're evil.”

It was Justise’s pan-seared shrimp with sautéed bell peppers, carrots, eggplant and quinoa which won the mystery box challenge in the end. In turn, she was able to attend Obama's final Kids' State Dinner in July 2016.

After Donald Trump’s seismic victory, discussion about whether Ms Obama would run for president dominated. Bolstered by consistently high popularity ratings and applauded for her barnstorming speech against Mr Trump last Autumn, she became one of the most enduringly popular figures of the 2016 election.

Nevertheless, the Chicago-born lawyer has ruled out running for office when pressed about it. Since leaving the White House, she has kept a relatively low profile, going on holiday with Mr Obama and Richard Branson on the British Virgin Islands.