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Little chef, big ideas

MASTER CHEF: 13-year-old TJ Dobson [PIC CREDIT: Edward Taylor]

A FORMER Junior MasterChef contestant has launched his own online cooking tutorials aimed at his peers.

Teenager Terrence ‘TJ’ Dobson, from Southgate, north London has created a series of videos to demonstrate his culinary skills.

At just 13-years-old, Dobson has proven his fantastic cooking skills. He was a finalist in the 2012 Junior MasterChef competition, aged 10, where his dishes delighted judges John Torode and Donal Skein. 

Reflecting on his time on the show, Dobson told Life & Style: “I wasn’t too nervous cooking in their presence because I knew the dishes I was preparing would amaze them and they were dishes I am familiar with, already, so I was quietly confident.”

Dobson started cooking alongside his mother from a very young age and now cooks for his family most days. 

A pupil of Ashmole Academy in Southgate, the 13-year-old already has a strong fan base among his peers. Some of his recipes are even part of the school’s curriculum. In his own small way, TJ has accomplished what Jamie Oliver has been trying to do for several years - encourage school kids to eat healthily.

FOOD LOVER: TJ hard at work

The north-Londoner, who has aspired to be a chef from a young age, believes more children should be active in the kitchen.

He said: “I started my web series because I want to show young children that they can cook.

He added: “If I can do it, they can do it as well. So long as they have adult supervision, being in the kitchen is fun, and creating a simple dish is enjoyable and it brings people together.”

Dobson was allowed to film his online videos in the Brunswick Park School’s kitchen by head teacher Andy Griffiths.
His online How to Cook videos include a variety of dishes including beef wellington, cheesecake, cheese soufflé with spinach and chicken liver pâté with garlic and herb bread.

The youngster said: “I love cooking because when I’m in the kitchen, it’s my zone. I relax and enjoy being there. It’s my creative space. When cooking for other people I like to see their expressions when they taste what I cook. I really enjoy those moments – they’re priceless.”

The talented pupil, whose favourite dish to cook “right now” is Lobster Ravioli, would like to own a chain of cooking schools in the future.

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