October 15, 2008

The Kids Are Alright

My friend Pete is a News Editor for The Homer Index, a newspaper serving the Homer and Litchfield areas of Michigan. (If this sounds familiar, I’ve previously mentioned Pete in this post about roasting chicken). Every week I have the pleasure of opening my inbox to find a copy of Pete’s most recent Word on the Street column. This week Pete wrote about Ryan Michaels, an award-winning journalist who does movie reviews for Heritage Newspapers, Inc. What’s the big deal about an award-winning journalist? This one happens to be 11 years old and he received an honourable mention in the Michigan Press Association’s 2008 Better Newspaper Contest in the category of Local Columnist for a weekly paper with a circulation under 4,000. My friend Pete did not. Of course his initial reaction was to be depressed, and really, who could blame him? Being beat by an 11 year is almost as bad as that time he was beat by a 15 year old girl in a foot race…

But I digress… I could feel Pete’s pain because earlier in the day I had listened to a CBC radio interview with Luke Hayes-Alexander, (you can listen to the podcast in the archives under Eating and Dining Locally). Who? That would be 17 year old Executive Chef Luke Hayes-Alexander who plans the menu and cooks using locally sourced ingredients at his restaurant Luke’s! in Kingston, Ontario. He’s only 17 and he's a phenomenally good chef. What's more is that he's articulate and humble about that whole thing too. He became obsessed with food at age 11 and took off from there. And what am I doing with my life? Certainly not running things like Luke.


After initially hearing the interview I had the same reaction as Pete, depression. But after thinking about it for a while I came to another conclusion; that this might actually be a good sign. Maybe the kids are alright after all. Given all the horror stories told on the news involving the youth of today it’s kinda nice to hear that they’re not all bad. An optimist could even go so far as to hope that these youngsters are starting to become the rule as opposed to the exception. I can’t say that I’m not jealous of their success, but I’m happy they’re having it nonetheless. Pete also eventually admits that although he may have lost out on the award, he’s fallen to a worthy foe. Yes, the kids are alright. You should check out Pete’s website to read more of his articles which are always entertaining, informative and written with a sense of humour that I just can’t get enough of, (case in point: this article about Pete’s ongoing fight with Canada which began a few years ago when he, an American, voted in a Canadian Federal Election).


But back to the food… In honour of the little ones, I’m going against my ‘Go Big or Go Home’ slogan and posting a series of mini pies. They’re all made with Dorie’s Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough and were created to use up leftover dough or ingredients from other projects. None of them have recipes to go with them, other than the star pie which is actually Dorie’s Thanksgiving Twofer Pie, (pumpkin and pecan in one). I made a large version of that for Canadian Thanksgiving, which was this past weekend. The trio of pies are apple with maple caramel inside because I had leftover maple caramel and decided pie was the place for it to go. And the other pie is actually more of a pear crisp set on a pie shell, with sugar dusted pie dough scraps as garnish. I called it Pear Pie for One and was inspired to make it after watching Flight of the Conchords one night and hearing Bret sing about making a Lasagna for One. So there you have it, mini pies to salute the kids. I know I can’t beat them, I can only keep doing what I do and hope that the young ones will continue to flourish and subsequently support me when I get old. Or better yet, maybe I should consider becoming a cougar so I can snag one of those go-getters for myself… Hello Life Sponsor!

14 comments:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Interesting. I think one of my favorite things about reading blogs is that it gives me another picture of people that is totally different than what I'd get on TV or in the news.
Gorgeous pies all!

Patricia Scarpin said...

17?? My jaw just dropped, Bri.

kat said...

what an amazing set of pies!

Deborah said...

I'm actually really glad to hear about these kids. Since I'm pregnant with my first - sometimes I'm extremely frightened when I think of the world I'm bringing a child into. I'm hoping my little one will aspire to something like these children instead of what so many other kids are doing!!

And the pies look great!!

Manggy said...

Beautiful pies! I love the variety in decoration.
Don't worry, there are still plenty of kids who rot their brains with video games and "hangin'" :P

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Those stories cracked me up--11 y/o writers and 17 y/o executive chefs...I feel unaccomplished, lol. WHatever the case, all three of those pies sound delicious

Maria said...

Amazing kids are out there, that is for sure! The pies look fantastic!

Anonymous said...

As a close friend of Chef Luke, I'm sure he'd be honoured to read the praise in your blog.

Dana McCauley said...

Nice pies!

i think being precocious is probably pretty difficult. In fact, I think that being a late bloomer has advantages. That's why I'm taking my time deciding what to do when i grow up. I plan to figure it out by the time I'm 50. : )

Vera said...

Well, I guess some kids are alright... I'm not always so pessimistic but I've been volunteering a lot in the school lately :)
The pies look great, all of them!

Kelly-Jane said...

He must be really good to be an executive chef at 17!

Beautiful pies, and Happy Thanksgiving.

marysol said...

Wow. A chef at seventeen.
At that age, I was still trying to decide whether I liked vanilla or chocolate. I still haven't decided.

The pies are perfection!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Reminds me of when I watched 14 year old Nadia score perfect 10's in the Olympics. I was depressed for weeks at how I was a failure for not being perfect by age 14.

I love the pies for one! (I'm not crying, really, my eyes are just sweaty.)

Alex said...

Chef Luke is extremely talented, and I am proud to say that my brother and I were among the first guests Luke ever spoke to at the table. He is shy (almost painfully so), but his passion for food lets him shine.