Things are heating up in the MasterChef Junior kitchen!
In this exclusive sneak peek of Thursday's new episode, the six remaining home cooks, ranging in age from eight to 13, are put to the test as they compete in the show's pop-up restaurant challenge for a spot in the coveted semi-finals. ET was invited to the Malibu, California, set to see it all go down.
"This is where we go up a level," Chef Gordon Ramsay tells ET. "This is where we sort of really hone in on that incredible talent. So are they good enough to run a restaurant?"
But the challenge of dishing out 2-course, 5-star luxury meals for a pack of VIP guests doesn't come easy for these young contestants and Chef Gordon Ramsay doesn't hold back his frustrations with the teams.
Gordon Ramsay out and about
Gordon Ramsay out and about
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 21: Gordon Ramsay seen at the ITV Studios on March 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by HGL/GC Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Gordon Ramsay (R) and daughter Holly Ramsay attend the 25th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar Viewing Party at The City of West Hollywood Park on February 26, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/WireImage)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 04: Chef Gordon Ramsay at the Rolling Stone Live: Houston presented by Budweiser and Mercedes-Benz on February 4, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Produced in partnership with Talent Resources Sports. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Rolling Stone)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 03: Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay (L) and moderator Ricky Camilleri attend the Build Series to discuss 'MasterClass: Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking' at Build Studio on February 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0617 -- Pictured: (l-r) Chef Gordon Ramsay during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on February 3, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19: Gordon Ramsay poses for a photo prior to signing copies of his new book 'Bread Street Kitchen' at Selfridges on December 19, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Gordon Ramsay and wife Tana attend the Global Gift Gala in partnership with Quintessentially on November 19, 2016 at the Corithinia Hotel in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay arrives at the Los Angeles' No Kid Hungry Dinner on September 28, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Gordon Ramsay is seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on October 25, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 08: Chef Gordon Ramsay (R) and wife Tana Ramsay attend the FOX Summer TCA Press Tour on August 8, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Chef Gordon Ramsay is seen on June 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - JULY 31: (L-R) Tana Ramsay, Megan Ramsay, chef Gordon Ramsay, and Holly Ramsay arrives at the Teen Choice Awards 2016 at The Forum on July 31, 2016 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Chef Gordon Ramsay attends AOL Build to discuss his MasterChef Mobile Game at AOL Studios on June 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)
NAPA, CA - MAY 27: Gordon Ramsay attends the 4th Annual BottleRock Napa Music, Food, Wine Festival on Day 1 at Napa Valley Expo on May 28, 2016 in Napa, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 29: Gordon Ramsay on the Red Carpet at Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred 10th anniversary Grand Tasting at Caesars Palace on April 29, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Gordon Ramsay attends FOX 2016 Upfront Arrivals at Wollman Rink, Central Park on May 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
MASTERCHEF: JUNIOR EDITION: L-R: Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi in the all-new Junior Edition: Quest for the Apron, Pt. 2 episode of MASTERCHEF airing Thursday, Feb. 16 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Chef Gordon Ramsay attends the 24th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar viewing party on February 28, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EST and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Wednesday, February 24 included chef Gordon Ramsay ('Hell's Kitchen'), actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell ('Underground') and musical guest Wolfmother. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images)
GORDON RAMSAY, JIMMY KIMMEL
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Gordon Ramsay is seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' on February 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
MASTERCHEF: Host / Chef Gordon Ramsay in the all-new Vets, Jets and Home Cooks episode of MASTERCHEF airing Wednesday, July 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
Ramsay admits the biggest challenge of coaching and mentoring kids is "finding that line in terms of how far to push them." But he stands by his approach because "the results are there."
"Each and every individual has different weaknesses and strengths, so we focus on weaknesses and improve their strengths," he explains. "We got the greenlight from the parents, you know, to put them under pressure, and I think that's healthy at their age, and even if they never want to open a restaurant, just as a life skill, is crucial, but we go far."
Fellow judge Chef Christina Tosi insists the young cooks' ages are not a true reflection of their culinary skills, but she does admit that pushing the kids to their boundaries can be "grueling" on them.
"It comes with tears, it comes with a lot of emotion," she says. "It's the hardest part but it's easily the most rewarding part of this show."
For fans at home who have seen Gordon Ramsay's no-holds-barred approach on TV and wonder if that's what he's really like in person, take it from this intrepid reporter who got a taste of Ramsay's bolstering personality, he is a straight shooter-- which is why he's so good at what he does.
Need proof? Watch the video above for an exclusive look behind the scenes of the pop-up restaurant challenge.