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Isaiah Hall, an 11-year-old food blogger and producer of YouTube food videos, smiles as he makes sushi and egg drop soup for his family in St. Cloud, Minn.

Kimm Anderson, AP

11-year-old is budding Minn. chef with own blog

  • Article by: AMY BOWEN
  • Associated Press
  • February 17, 2014 - 9:59 AM

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Isaiah Hall used to wear sandwich-sized bags on his 3-year-old hands when he mixed meatloaf.

His mom, Stephanie Schroeder, couldn't find rubber gloves to fit the hands of her budding chef. As a toddler, Isaiah already had mastered making meatloaf and chicken noodle soup.

He instructed his mother on how to make California sushi rolls by the time he was 3½.

"I try everything," Isaiah, now 11, told the St. Cloud Times (http://on.sctimes.com/1dCLt0H). "There isn't much I don't like."

He has cooked for eight years. He writes the blog www.tenyearoldbakery.blogspot.com and has a YouTube channel featuring his cooking videos.

Isaiah's dad and stepmom, Desi and Lori Hall, live in St. Cloud. Isaiah lives most of the time with his mother, Stephanie, and his stepdad in Royalton.

Lori Hall assists with his blogs and videos. She helped him set up his social media websites a couple of years ago.

The blog and videos allow him to connect with family living in the Bahamas, Florida and Duluth.

"We have always had him in the kitchen when we've been in the kitchen," Lori Hall said. "He always helped out."

Isaiah got cooking and baking supplies for Christmas. He reads cookbooks and surfs cooking websites.

He creates a weekly dinner menu and shopping list for his chores at his mother's house. He likes to do all the cooking. A recent menu included a roast in the slow cooker, chicken enchiladas and rotisserie chicken.

"It's fun to cook, and eating is a good part," Isaiah said. "I like making a lot of stuff. I like variety."

Schroeder requires her son to choose one new recipe a week. The menu each day must include a main entree and one or two sides. Then she shops for the groceries.

"He's got this creative, inventive side to him," Schroeder said. "He comes up with some recipes that are crazy, and I wouldn't have thought of. They usually are good."

Desi Hall, Isaiah's father, is a professional chef. Isaiah learns techniques from him.

Dad and son make mussels, seafood Alfredo, macaroni and cheese and gnocchi.

Isaiah is also known as the family's cake baker. He bakes for every holiday and birthday. He especially likes to decorate them. His cakes have included an ornate "Angry Birds"-themed cake and a turkey-shaped cake.

Lori Hall noticed her stepson's talent before the videos and blog. She helped him publish a cookbook for family members. The cookbooks included photographs with every dish.

He sent out dozens of cookbooks.

The videos and blog soon followed.

Lori Hall shoots and edits the videos; her stepson narrates the steps. They have to work on memorizing the recipes, Lori Hall said.

Isaiah writes the blog when he stays with his dad and stepmom. Lori Hall edits them, but she is careful to keep his voice authentic.

His blogs are mainly recipes, but he interjects some personal stories. His father broke his leg last year. Isaiah included the X-rays.

The blog is still pretty small, Lori Hall said. It has more than 1,300 views. But Isaiah Hall has big hopes. He wants to gain a large audience so he can sell advertising. He's saving for hobby grade remote-controlled cars.

Lori Hall is excited to see what her stepson can do in the future.

"He cooks really, really great food," she said. "He's really coming along. He has a lot of good ideas."

An AP Member Exchange Feature shared by St. Cloud Times

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