A 12-year-old Chilliwack kid recently cooked up a provincial, award-winning dish.
Jonah Dyck was one of 10 winners in the junior division of the Field to Fork Challenge, a contest put on by 4-H British Columbia and BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation (BCAITC).
His savoury Hungry Hiker Skillet recipe, filled with eggs, potatoes, sausage and herbs, earned him a second-place award and $300.
Jonah “basically” created the recipe himself with a little bit of help from mom, Trisha, he said.
“I like it because it has a lot of herbs in it and I really like eggs, too,” Jonah said.
As per the contest rules, everything was locally sourced. The herbs were from his own garden, the potatoes from Yarrow, the sausage from Rosedale and the eggs came from his grandfather’s chickens in Ryder Lake. Even the salt was from B.C. – it’s a product of Vancouver Island.
Jonah likes experimenting with different ingredients. He enjoys putting ingredients that he likes together to “see if I like it more or less than before.”
And he’s only been at it for a year. Jonah first started cooking when he took a class last year in Grade 6 at Vedder middle school.
He’s also a member of the Chilliwack 4-H Lamb Club and had made the Hungry Hiker Skillet during a demo for his club. Since it was a success there, he decided to enter the recipe in the Field to Fork Challenge.
“I like to hike a lot,” Jonah said when asked about the name of the recipe. “We do like having it after we go on a long hike or a day trip, we come back and we will have [the Hungry Hiker Skillet].”
The 20 winners (10 juniors and 10 seniors), age nine to 19, were chosen for their excellent recipe choices, use of B.C. ingredients, evidence of thorough study, food and kitchen safety, and presentation.
Entries were submitted by video.
“The Field to Fork Challenge was an incredible success,” said Pat Tonn, BCAITC executive director. “It was amazing to see the participants fully engaged, excited to learn, and show off their creativity. The recipes that the Field to Fork Challenge youth submitted not only displayed their talent but also inspired them and others to think, shop, cook, and eat locally.”
Along with cash prizes, the young chefs also got to take part in a video presentation where they had the opportunity to cook a three-course meal in their own home with a professional chef via the internet, had virtual tours of different farms, and were sent packages filled with food samples and an apron.
Jonah has already tucked his $300 winnings away.
“I’m saving it for a car and college.”
But he won’t be going to culinary school when he graduates high school.
“I just want to be a home cook that can cook good meals,” Jonah said.