Young chef Taurean has Easter covered
The Easter bunny can skip Taurean Thomas's house this year.
The ten-year-old is making his own chocolates, truffles and codfish cakes based on tips he got from someone who should know his stuff.
Kevin Pannier, the executive pastry chef at Hamilton Princess, put Taurean through the paces at a cooking demonstration.
Hopefully, the lessons stuck.
“The rest of the family can help,” said Taurean, “but I really don't need them to tell me what to do. I had no idea making chocolate involved so many steps. I thought you just melted some chocolate, put it in the freezer and boom — chocolate. And my truffle came out very interesting. I dripped a lot of chocolate on to the plate so there was a plate of chocolate around my truffle. I looked at the chef and he was doing everything just perfectly with no drips.”
Bermuda Education Network linked the Prospect Primary School student up with Mr Pannier. He was one of a group of 40 students the charity invited to attend a Thanksgiving cooking demonstration with Marcus Samuelsson.
Two days later, Taurean reproduced the entire meal for his family — turkey, Brussels sprouts, mashed potato and gravy.
His mother Sharmane was so impressed she forwarded pictures to BEN executive director Becky Ausenda.
“We decided we had to do something for him,” she said. “We had to find some opportunities for him.
“He's such a nice kid. We heard that the hotel was going to be offering an Easter cooking demonstration. So we asked if he could join that. They offered us one better by asking him to be the assistant.”
Taurean leapt at the opportunity and can't wait to try everything at home.
“I can't lie. It was so much fun to see other people enjoy the food and have fun,” he said. “It will probably take me five tries to get it right. I'm just a kid so it won't be easy.
“I can't even count how long I have been interested in cooking. My mother said that when I was a year old I loved to watch her and my nana cook. I started making things around five or six. I don't really remember the first thing I made, but I know I liked making breakfast, and I did a lot of cupcakes.”
His 12-year-old brother, Timaris, also likes to cook.
“My brother has a plan,” said Taurean. “We're going to open our own restaurant one day. He says he'll be the boss and I'll be the head chef.” Sunday got him interested in learning more about pastry.
“I want to be a chef in general,” he said, “but it definitely made me think twice about what type of chef I want to be.”
Mr Pannier said he got his start at a young age as well.
“I was 14,” he said. “In France, it meant I had to go into a vocational school.
“My parents weren't happy about that because 80 per cent of children who went into that programme were not good students. Now I'm 28, and travelling around the world as part of my job.
“If it is your passion then you need to follow it. Do what you want to do.”