School’s out, summer is here and for most kids, the next few months will be filled with lazy days in the Texas heat. But for one 10-year-old, the majority of the heat is coming from the kitchen.
Julian Frederick, better known as the Step Stool Chef, is a 10-year-old with a passion for cooking. And as you can tell from his moniker, it started at a very young age.
“I got snowed in on my third birthday,” Frederick says. “Unfortunately, I had to cancel my birthday party plans. I told my mom I wanted to make my own birthday cake, and she let me. That was the first time I ever got to cook by myself. And I instantly knew I wanted to cook.”
Thus, a chef was born. But Frederick’s passion doesn’t stop at cooking. The Step Stool Chef teaches other kids to cook, too.
“I got a good feeling when I cooked for the first time, and I wanted other kids to feel that, too,” Frederick says. “Kids aren’t really getting the opportunity to cook because parents are always saying no. So I want to change that.”
And that’s just what he’s doing. Instead of leaving it at the level of recipes and pictures, Frederick has created an online course — with the help of his sous chef, aka Mom, Toria Frederick.
“We made an online cooking school for kids called the Step Stool Chef Academy," Frederick says. "We have six full-course videos that teach you how to do stuff like measuring. It talks about pots, pans and appliances and even how to have fun in the kitchen. We also have three rules, which all have the acronym ABC: always be cleaning, always be cooking, always be careful.”
Although chef is part of Frederick's brand, he doesn’t like to be called one.
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“I get annoyed when people say, ‘Oh he’s a chef,’" Frederick says. "No, I’m a not a chef. I’m a businessperson trying to get the word out that kids can build confidence and independence through cooking.”
And Frederick, who admits he sometimes still needs to use his step stool, says he’s learned a lot about himself over the past seven years.
“I like to create," he says. "I learned that cooking allows you to make a lot of choices.”
One choice the Step Stool Chef is making for the future: creating a line of kitchen tools that’ll make cooking easier for kids.