Who is Leila Edwards?
Leila Edwards is best known as the mother of the star contestant of season six of MasterChef Junior, Ben Watkins. Ben passed away on Monday after a long battle with cancer. The former competitor joined the 2018 season of MasterChef Junior when he was 11 years old.
Throughout his time on the Gordon Ramsey-hosted show, he created a range of dishes including fruit tarts and milkshakes. He, along with fellow contestant Gracie Howard, faced the chopping block during the season’s fifth episode titled “Recipe for Love.”
Leila Edwards Age, Wife, Family
Leila Edwards was 43 years old while her husband Michael Watkins was 46 years old. Ben, who just turned 14 years old, appeared on the sixth season of the hit culinary competition series MASTERCHEF JUNIOR on FOX.
Ben was only 11 on the show and was part of the top 24.
Ben had a year-and-a-half-long battle with Cancer after losing both of his parents in a murder-suicide in September 2017. He is survived by his grandmother Donna Edwards and uncle Anthony Edwards. According to Chicago Tribune, Michael Watkins shot and killed his wife Leila Edwards before taking his own life in their Gary home. It is still unclear what caused Michael Watkins to do it.
“Ben is an aspiring chef and opened Big Ben’s Bodacious BBQ and Delicatessen in the Miller Community of Gary, Indiana with his late parents, Leila Edwards and Michael Watkins”, GoFundMe wrote.
Ben Watkins Death and Cause of Death
The Watkins family shared a statement via their attorney.: “Ben suffered more than his share in his fourteen years on this Earth, but we take solace in that his suffering is finally over and in that, in the end, Ben knew he was loved by so many”. He was 14 years old.
Watkins, who joined MasterChef Junior in 2018, has passed away due to cancer. The former competitor on “MasterChef Junior” died in a Chicago Children’s hospital.
His passing comes less than five months after his angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma diagnosis.
GoFundMe in Ben Watkins’ Memorial
Watkins’ family has created a GoFundMe for his memorial and funeral fund. The page has raised $197,516 out of the $300,000 goal. Trent A. McCain is organizing the fundraiser.
Tributes and Condolences
On Tuesday Gordon Ramsey mourned the MasterChef Junior contestant on social media.
We lost a Master of the @MasterChefJrFOX kitchen today. Ben you were an incredibly talented home cook and even stronger young man. Your young life had so many tough turns but you always persevered. Sending all the love to Ben Watkins’ family with this terrible loss Gx pic.twitter.com/RX81hP7lbw
— Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay) November 17, 2020
Fox also shared condolences in a statement:
“It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Ben Watkins, a beloved member of the MasterChef Junior family. Ben overcame so much in his life with a remarkably positive attitude…”.