EL DORADO HILLS, Calif. (KTXL) — Cooking has become a necessary skill during the stay-at-home restriction and that necessity inspired “The Quarantine Cookbook.”
The author, from El Dorado Hills in Northern California, is not your typical chef.
“You melt peanut butter with the chocolate chips and then, when you’re done with that, you put in marshmallows,” said middle school student Dylan Smith.
That recipe is for Dylan’s rocky road bars but he hasn’t just been dabbling in making sweets. With some help, he has developed a cookbook for anyone who has been forced to stay home.
“I started getting interested in the kitchen when I was 4 or so,” explained Dylan. “My mom finally started letting me join the action when I was around 5.”
That means at 12 years old, Dylan has been cooking for over half his life. Now, he also wants other kids to have an avenue through which to learn how to cook.
“So, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity because everybody has free time to teach kids to cook,” said Dylan.
Realizing that not everyone has his skills, he created a progression system.
“We have a scale system that will tell you if it’s easy, medium or hard. So, we have some easy, beginner stuff for newer cooks and some difficult stuff such as beef Wellington,” said Dylan.
Creating recipes was tough because some ingredients weren’t available at grocery stores and, of course, his recipes had to be tested.
“We’ve had some accidents, let’s say,” laughed Dylan.
His favorite recipes are the “Bad Monkey Garlic Bread” and a variety of pasta dish creations. The cookbook went beyond a home project when Dylan’s mom tried to help out a publisher friend.
“I sent him a copy of the book as, ‘Hey, do you want to make garlic bread for your wife who just got back from the hospital?’” said Michele Smith. “So, we have a national publisher doing hard copies as of yesterday.”
To be clear, cooking is not an obsession with Dylan, he also dabbles in computer design and art. But he is considering becoming a chef in the future.