I’ve always been in awe of young people who have taken it upon themselves to become skillful in the kitchen. No, seriously. While most chefs have stories about how they started on their journeys learning in the kitchen under their parents or grandparents, their ascension is usually gradual. Then there are those who would be considered prodigies, taking what they learned and mastering it at an early age. We see them in the spotlight online or on television shows like MasterChef Junior, Chopped Junior, and Top Chef Junior, creating culinary greatness with ease. They are geniuses that deserve our applause. Below are five such young chefs that continue to raise the bar when it comes to their cooking skills. Follow them online and hopefully we can learn just enough from them that we’re able to fend for ourselves in the kitchen this holiday season.
CHEF OMARI MCQUEEN
Straight outta the UK, Chef Omari McQueen is a 12 year old vegan chef that has his own restaurant, a published cookbook, AND his own cooking show. Yeah, I’d be smiling too. Follow him and learn more about the boy genius.
At 16, Chef Jasmine Stewart is already the 2017 winner of MasterChef Junior, and is now using her platform to not only teach cooking classes online, but also to inspire young people with the slogan “Let Your Inner Girl Slay”. “I want to let girls know to beat their own drum,” the young chef says. “Be yourself. Be who you are, and you don’t have to change that for anybody.”
This young chef-in-training is 7 years old and already creating masterpieces in his family’s kitchen. When you follow Chef Corey, make sure you ask about the pricing at his restaurant and about how his mom is doing as his sous chef. He. Does. Not. Play.
CHEF BRYCE TAYLOR
Chef Bryce Taylor is still a teen and has a resumé greater than most of us. The 17 year old has his own business (LatchKey, LLC), his own cooking show (Cooking with Chef Bryce), was a contestant on the inaugural Chopped Junior, and is also a public speaker that is majoring in Business Administration, Management and Operations. He’s a star. And an amazing chef.
CHEF RAHANNA BISSERET MARTINEZ
At 16, Chef Rahanna Bisseret Martinez has already been a finalist on Top Chef Junior, has cooked at the world famous James Beard House, and has been shouted out by several celebrities, including Gabrielle Union. So yeah… she’s doing very well. What does the young culinary star love most about being in the kitchen? During an interview with Food & Wine, she commented that it’s “using recipes from my family and learning more about my family through the food”. A culinary star that’s also a grounded teenager? We love to see it.