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Samuel L. (11): Our Own Master Chef

Samuel L. (11): Our very own master chef

Hands trembling, Samuel L. (11) awaits for the Annual Taipei Cooking Competition to begin. With only the small set of ingredients given to him upon his arrival, he’s to make two dessert dishes within three hours. He will later go on to win second place in the 15-18 teen division, creating two of his best dishes ever–a Caramel Chocolate Custard Eclair with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and a Caramel White Chocolate Orange Cake Roll with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
Silver Palate: Samuel L. takes home 2nd place with his caramel chocolate custard eclair and vanilla bean ice cream.
Silver Palate: Samuel L. takes home 2nd place with his caramel chocolate custard eclair and vanilla bean ice cream.

Sam got an early start in fifth grade when he became hooked on watching Food Network TV show “MasterChef” and was inspired to create his own food. “I got more and more interested because I saw that when you make food and give it to others, it can make them happy.” Sam spent hours flipping through recipe books and watching cooking show videos online, and now attends cooking classes, all to endlessly develop his culinary technique. As he learned more about what it takes to become a master chef himself, he found that it wasn’t just going to be a piece of cake.
“In cooking, there are unlimited possibilities in what you can make. It’s really challenging to balance meshing the flavors and creating a dish the way you want it to look.” In the process of making a dish, lots of difficulties can come up, and you’re not always going to end up with something straight out of Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen. “There will definitely be lots of mistakes and mess-ups when you do it. But, as long as you never give up and continue practicing, you’ll slowly get the hang of it.”
On his personal Facebook account, Sam posts photos of his latest creations, attracting likes from his peers excited to know more about what he has in store for the next dish. In his photo album, you’ll find all sorts of creative and yummy foods such as panda toast, nutella chocolate chip cookies, ramen burgers, milk and cookie cups, and more. His food also ranges from mouth-watering pastas and quesadillas to a variety of desserts (cakes, cookies, waffles, anything basically).

With a laugh, Samuel said, “Most of the pictures you’ll find are desserts because people like that. But, personally I prefer making savory foods because they’re more heartwarming, and eating good savory food just makes you feel better.”
With his future ahead of him, Sam says his education is still his priority. “I’m considering minoring in culinary arts…I’m not sure.” Becoming a top chef isn’t his definite path at the moment, but it’s all in consideration and a possibility. So, don’t be surprised to someday find him hosting his own cooking show or see him on the front cover of a Food Network magazine.

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