Posted on: September 5, 2020
Ahead of Katie’s Cloverdale Kids Cooks Virtual Cooking Class, (which you can enter your junior chefs into on the Cloverdale Mall website) Cloverdale had the chance to ask Katie a few questions. Katie was a semi-finalist on Junior Chef Showdown. We are bringing you and your kiddies the burning questions everyone wants to know from the junior chef herself, Katie. Enjoy!
Katie, at what age did you start realizing your passion for food and cooking?
I knew I had a passion for cooking when I was a toddler. Honestly, I think I was born with a whisk in my hand! I loved cooking from the very get go. I’ve always (and still) try to get involved in the kitchen whether it’s simply stirring the pot, or cooking a 3 course meal!
What made you want to participate on Junior Chef Showdown?
My mom knew I had a talent for cooking and baking and she entered me to audition for Junior Chef Showdown on a whim. We kind of forgot about it after the auditions, and then one day we got the call that I made it to the show! I was beyond excited to try something that was totally out of my comfort zone and an amazing opportunity for me to grow as a junior chef. That moment when I applied to be on national television, I had no idea what was next to come!
How was your experience on Junior Chef Showdown?
I had a wonderful experience on Junior Chef Showdown! I had no television experience prior to the show which I think was a good thing. I was just myself on camera and had a ton of fun! I definitely made a handful of mistakes, but I don’t fret over anything because nobody is a perfect cook! Another aspect of the show that I loved was to meet new friends with a common interest in cooking! Most of my school friends are not into cooking, so it was really fun to make friends with all of the junior chefs. We learned a lot from one another and I hope our friendships continue!
Why does the kitchen bring you joy?
The kitchen definitely brings me joy! I’m always in the mood to cook, maybe because it lets me highlight my creative and fun side. I also tend to cook when I’m procrastinating on doing something I’m supposed to be doing . . . which happens a lot! I love cooking for others and “wowing” them with some creative twist on a recipe and also, just take pleasure in taking a bite of a home cooked meal I’ve prepared! I have learned many tricks in the kitchen, but I still learn new things almost every day about cooking and I find that very satisfying because I love learning new things!
What is your favourite dish to cook?
My favourite dish to cook is probably Gazpacho! Gazpacho is a cold soup that originated in Spain! Nothing, and I mean nothing, can beat a bite of this refreshing, spicy soup on a hot summer day. When fall comes around, I think back to those hot summer days and how I took them for granted! If you haven’t cooked Gazpacho yet, I totally recommend it! There are a variety of different recipes online, each coming from a different region of Spain. My favourite is the tomato-based version.
What one meal could you eat for the rest of your life?
One meal I could eat for the rest of time would probably be roasted chicken and vegetables on the side. I’ve had so many roasts for dinner and they can really vary in taste and texture! You may think this is strange or boring, but I prefer vegetables over fruit because in my opinion, vegetables can absorb many more wonderful flavours than fruit! I think, however, that I’d get tired of roast chicken within a week, but who wouldn’t get tired of the same meal? Well, besides my dog Princess . . . who also loves roast chicken and vegetables!
What’s your late-night junk food of choice?
My late night junk food of choice at the moment is peppermint patties! One of my favourite flavour combinations is mint and chocolate. I definitely get a sudden craving of peppermint patties at least once a week because they are so delicious and addictive! But that may change and be replaced by something else in the future.
What’s one ingredient you can’t live without?
One ingredient I couldn’t live without would probably be eggs! I could not live without a classic breakfast consisting of bacon and eggs, omelettes or quiche. Eggs are so incredibly versatile. They act as a binding agent in baking, and are used in so many recipes that they are considered a food staple for me.
What most attracted you to participate in RELISH 2.0 The Virtual Foodie Event?
What I am most attracted to is the opportunity to teach other kids to cook and try to inspire them to love it as much a I do! I’ve always been keen on helping people out and watching them develop a talent or new passion. Also, when I was younger, I was a student in many cooking classes and events like this, and I found it really fun. Now that I am the instructor and not the student, it gives me an opportunity to share my passion with other kids! I am beyond excited to take part in this event and highlight some of the amazing stores in Cloverdale that have helped make this demonstration possible like Metro, Dollarama and Bulk and Bits!
Can you give some cooking advice to all of the aspiring junior chefs out there?
I think it’s important to live by your own cooking style! Experiment with different techniques and find certain approaches that YOU like and make your meals unique to you. Cooking isn’t just about following a set of instructions. Something I’ve learned to do is to stop following each recipe precisely and come up with your own twist. If I don’t have an ingredient on hand, oh well! If you don’t like a particular spice or ingredient in a recipe, think of your own substitution and work your way around problems like that! Be creative and you may invent something new and delicious! Finally, cooking comes with many more lessons than you think. Cooking has helped me with problem solving, mathematics, science, and also improves my mental health! When I make a mistake or mess something up, I calm down and think about how I can make the dish work! You may get frustrated or want to give up, but sometimes you have to maybe think of another plan to get the job done! In the end, there is no right or wrong for cooking – that’s what makes it the most fun for me.
~Gillian, Marketing Assistant