A young Yellowknifer's pizza recipe won big this year.
Ten-year-old Drew Sinclair's smoked meat bannock pizza was one of 26 winners of this year's Kid Food Nation recipe contest, held last June.
"I was really excited. I like pizza and I like bannock and I combined them all together and I got this wonderful pizza," he said.
The contest, in which there were 300 entries, is a national competition to encourage kids between the ages of seven to 12 to cook. The selected winners get their recipes published in the Kid Food Nation cookbook, a prize pack and an online cooking lesson with chef Marysol Foucault from Gatineau, Que., on Oct. 30.
An early start
Sinclair started cooking when he was six years old. Once a week, he would help his parents cook a meal from scratch.
"I like to cook hamburgers, hamburger soup and poutine, and bases loaded sheet pan dinner. It's from the first cookbook that my mom and dad gave me. That's the first thing I cooked four years ago," he said.
His father, Trevor Sinclair, said cooking has also helped Drew with other important skills, from reading cooking books to writing recipes.
"That's the joy of all this, is that the cooking is then helping him with all his other skills including good old reading and writing."
The young cook also has advice for anyone wanting to explore the joys of cooking and how to stay safe in the kitchen.
"Cooking is really fun and you should not play around when you're cooking and use knives appropriately and ask for help when you need help. It's OK to ask for help and to wash your hands really well and have a clean surface," he said.
The young cook said he wants to keep cooking and is even thinking of starting a small business.
"I like baking cakes and muffins, cookies and things like that from my book that I got from my grandma. I might make a business of a bakery and cakes and things like that," Drew said.
His father said they've been helping him write up a business plan to help him understand the scope of starting a cooking business.
"I don't think he fully appreciates the crazy amount of work that is but that's OK. We'll entertain it. I think it's important to encourage kids to get involved in cooking and that it's always well worth it."
Drew's classmates at Mildred Hall School will also benefit from his win — the school will receive a grant for a food growing system worth up to $5,000.