Liam Lewis is just like any other 13-year-old: he goes to school, does his chores, and goes to ice dancing practice. In his spare time, however, he’s taking the cooking world by storm.
Known as The Little Locavore, Lewis’ dedication and enthusiasm for local produce and ingredients is obvious, and he’ll be sharing his passion at the Interesting Vancouver speaker series on November 6.
“I love what’s in season because it’s close to you, and it’s fresh,” he says. “When something comes from far away it can lose its taste, and it doesn’t come from your community, it’s just not the same as knowing where the apple your eating came from. You can help the farmers, and you can give back.”
Lewis first became interested in cooking about five years ago while living in rural Ontario with his parents.
“My parents got rid of T.V., video games, all that, so I was bored and looking for something to do,” he says. “There was a lot of great produce that we had, so I would start trying new things, seeing what I could do with it, and seeing what I liked. I just kept trying more and more things, and figuring out how to cook them.”
Living in Vancouver for over two years now, Lewis has had the opportunity to cook with Vikram Vij, Fable Kitchen’s Trevor Bird, the Pacific Institute of Culinary Technology, UBC, and the Dirty Apron. Using the wisdom and techniques he’s learned, Lewis hopes to use opportunities like Interesting Vancouver to show people what their city has to offer.
“The people are all – well, they’re interesting,” he says. “There are so many great stories, and they’re amazing people. I love working with them, and learning more about them.”
Lewis’ runs a blog, The Little Locavore, which follows his adventures in the world of cooking, as well as a Twitter account and Facebook page with thousands of followers. While he has big plans to become a chef one day, for now his aspirations a little more grounded.
“I want to finish high school first,” he says. “I’ll keeping doing what I’m doing, going to kitchens, and one day I’ll probably go to culinary school, then I definitely want to be a chef.”
While he initially started as a way to stave off his boredom, Lewis says there just isn’t anything like cooking.
“I liked trying new things and seeing what was out there,” he says. “I just liked the creativity of it, and that’s still what I love. It’s just so creative.”
But that isn’t all.
“I almost forgot!” he says, laughing. “I love to eat, as well.”
When: Friday, November 6; 6 p.m.
Where: SFU Woodward’s – 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver