We featured Liam back when he was only 10 years old on Lethbian Love.
And so we figured we’d catch up with him to see what he’s up to. We’ve featured his mom on the blog as well, and used some of that clout to see what this teenaged culinarian is up to (thanks Joanne!).
From his bio:
The Little Locavore is teen chef-in-training Liam Lewis.https://thelittlelocavore.ca/
His passion for all things food-related began early. By 10 years of age, Liam had started his own food blog: visiting with chefs, bakers, and farmers, and learning how to cook/bake/make something at each stop; Liam’s food training had begun.
I had a chance to back-and-forth a little with Liam, and here’s what he’s got to say!
Liam, please tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Liam Lewis and I just turned 17 years old. For the past six years I have been learning how to cook in restaurants & kitchens across Canada- It all started in Lethbridge and Calgary, and then Vancouver, Toronto and now Montreal. I do a lot of cooking at home maybe 75 or 80% of the meals, and I also have an Athlete Meal prep club with some of my skater friends from the rink! Oh I figure skate (Ice Dance Jr National Level) and I am going to start my last year of High School this August!
A locavore is someone who is interested and involved in the local food scene. For me this means informing myself about what produce/products are grown/made locally, going to farmers markets (and farms when I can), and just making a conscious effort to buy-local first!
You’re not quite so little of a locavore anymore! What are you up to nowadays?
NOPE! I’ve been taller than my parents for the last couple of years now! 🙂 When we moved from Lethbridge to Vancouver, I started to learn and then compete in Ice Dance. For the last couple of years I have been training with some of the best in Canada, and I recently moved to a new training site to train with the best in the World! My new coaches are Marie France Dubreil and Patrice Lauzon (who coached Tessa and Scott to their Olympic Gold Medal). I feel pretty lucky!
What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?
In 2015 I co-hosted a dinner at Whole Foods Vancouver with my friend (& mentor) Chef Ned Bell. The money that was raised was donated to a Vancouver Charity called Growing Chefs that teaches elementary school kids about growing some of their own produce and then learning how to cook with it! I was also involved for several years in DINNERPARTYYVR, where I sous-chef’d, and then hosted my own dinner parties where the money raised when to another cause that I am passionate about, Quest Food Exchange.
I hear you’ve rubbed elbows with some celebrity chefs. Could you share an experience that left you star-truck?
I’ve been so lucky to have met and cooked with many great Canadian Chefs, all of them were all so welcoming and humble! Really made me feel like I was just like them, even when I was younger!
The first time I met Chef Vikram Vij, I was pretty at a loss for words 😉
I’m hungry. Are there any cookbooks or websites you’d recommended?
My fav website that I look at almost daily is bonappetit.com, and I also really like hotforfoodblog.com for vegan options, and sallysbakingaddiction.com for baking recipes.
For cookbooks, there are so many that are good, I can’t just pick one. I really like the Soup Sisters Family Cookbook, you can even find a recipe that I created in there (p. 172).
SIDENOTE: Liam’s chicken katsu recipe was also featured on Chefs Plate
You’re bilingual. Can I expect to see you go culinary school in France, or do you have other plans?
Being bilingual has become very useful, especially now in Montreal. I do plan at some point to go to culinary school, and travel. Have to finish school and see where skating takes me now too!
So you’re also a figure skater. Which blades are sharper; your knives or your skates?
Haha! Depends on the day! I am surrounded my the World Champions as well as most of the top 10 teams on a daily basis. My partner (Victoria) and I are one of the youngest teams at our rink, so we’re really lucky to be able to have such great mentors around us.
I just had 2x World Champ (Nathan Chen) over for dinner last week, I’ve had a lot of great skaters in my kitchen over the past year, its cool that I can teach some of them some skills 🙂
What advice would you give to aspiring young chefs?
Never be afraid of trying new things. I’ve come across a lot of people older than me who only eat in their “comfort zone” and don’t expand their pallets. If you start cooking/experimenting with food at a young age, your appreciation for different foods and skill set builds as the years go by! If you’re young and into food, get your parents involved and go for it!
Can I make a reservation at your restaurant?
Not sure about a restaurant! But def one of my future pop up dinner parties, you have to come!
“One of my first memories is eating sushi off my Finding Nemo plate”https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/foodie-chef-from-young-age/
FUN FACT: The Liam Roll is an off-menu item at The Lighthouse.
And a bonus tweet (I was referring to the bulgogi):
I’m a webslinger located in Lethbridge, AB. I love all things nerdy, like cartoons and videogames, and am also a bit of a foodie. When I travel, I always keep my eyes out for hot springs and great places to adventure with my wife, Melissa.