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Sam Stern - Teen Celebrity Chef Cooking Up A Storm

Sam SternSam Stern is 15 years old and was born and raised in Yorkshire as the youngest of five in his family. His greatest passion is cooking and he’s already making a name for himself in the UK with the publication of his first book, Cooking Up A Storm: The Teen Survival Cookbook.   He’s also appeared on BBC TV Good Food Show alongside Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein, Gordon Ramsay - to name but a few.

When the team here at Pulse came across his book we were instantly hooked.  It’s a glorious production, large and colourful and full of great recipes that are easy to follow.  There are tons of really cool photographs - not only of the food itself but also of Sam with his family and friends.  It’s fun and informal and packed with handy hints and great ideas that all revolve around food  … like his Exam Survival Tips, School Recovery, Mates Round and (one of our particular favourites) …  How To Impress The Girls … 

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach - yeah right, whatever.  The girls here at Pulse are right on Sam’s side  because a lad who can serve up a fab feed will leave the other dudes way behind  - still clutching their bunches of flowers, movie tickets or DVDs, open-mouthed and wondering just what the heck went wrong!

Flipping pancakesWe caught up with Sam just after Christmas:

Do you ever invent your own recipes and have you had any total disasters?
Yes, I do.  I just like to experiment in the kitchen and have a good time.  I just make what I feel like.  No disasters - yet!
What was it like working at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant?  Did you get to meet him?
It was awesome!  I worked with the 15 chefs for a media day and it was so much fun.  Yes, I did get to meet him - he’s a legend.
You’ve said before that ‘school’s okay but the food’s rubbish.’  What sort of menu would you like to be on offer and what’s the worst thing they cook at the moment?
I would love school to have a simple menu with great flavours and great ingredients.  Ermm … probably the worst thing is the fish pie - you can smell it from a mile off!
Exam survival - did you survive?
Haha just about so far!
What’s it like being on telly?  Did you meet or have to cook alongside any of your heroes?
It went really well, it was so funny!  Anthony Worrall Thompson is a great lad.  It’s really weird and you get so nervous beforehand but I’m starting to get less nervous now which is good.  I’ve met Jamie Oliver, Anthony Worrall Thompson and loads of other chefs from the BBC Good Food Show.
In your book you say you ‘look the fish in the eye’ to see it it’s fresh.  What exactly are we meant to be looking for?!
A really bright eye which means it’s fresh.  If the eye is glazed over it’s old and not worth it.
Do all your family love to cook?
Everyone loves to cook in their own style except my Dad who just does the washing up.  We have to have a team effort when we are all around with a vegan and a vegetarian, so there’s a wide range of food.
Your most treasured possession?
Sadly, my phone!
Do you eat takeaways? What’s your honest opinion about them?
I love good fish and chips from time to time.  It depends on what type of takeaway and how much you eat them.  Could be loads of nasty stuff in there.  Generally though everything in moderation is okay. But best to go with good old home cooking.
When someone’s cooking for you, what’s your favourite?
I would want a surprise but Moules Marinere would go down well … and some chunky chips!
The best compliment you’ve ever received about your cooking?
I cooked lunch for the food writer from the Times newspaper and he said it was really good.  I do this lemon cake with almonds, spice and syrup.  He liked it. And I made him Moules Marinere.
Your dream is to be a chef and have your own restaurant.  What would it be like and where would it be?
I’d want it to be experimental, not boring. I’m not sure yet - maybe London?