Move over Jamie Oliver there’s a young master chef coming through – and he’s only eight!
Dexter Littlewood learned how to cook by watching his mum and dad in the kitchen and now he’s a video star with his own YouTube channel.
He’s had a visit to the kitchens at upmarket 3 Acres in Shelley and he’s also taken tips from Orlando Gubbini at Orlando’s in Grange Moor and Huddersfield-trained chef Tony Flinn.
And Dexter has now been signed up by Blacker Hall Farm Shop for regular Cooking with Dexter videos.
Dexter loves seafood, pasta, pizza and lamb and while he specialises in cooking on a budget, he’s also not afraid to push the boat out sometimes.
‘Quick, easy, cheap and yummy’ is Dexter’s tagline but then he’s not averse to reaching for the lobster, prawns or trout when the mood takes him!
Mum Lauren, 29, said: “Dexter has always loved cooking and me and his dad Brett have always spent a lot of time cooking at home.
“In the first lockdown we all had more time on our hands and Dexter set up his own YouTube channel to show children – and adults – how easy and cheap it was to cook yourself and not rely on processed food.
“When Blacker Hall spotted his videos they snapped him up for their Facebook page.”
Dexter’s online exploits attracted a lot of attention and Jamie Oliver, who encourages children to cook through his Cooking Buddies Club on Instagram, has been in touch and has promised to send some goodies.
And Miguel Barclay, the brains behind One Pound Meals, is also a fan and has sent Dexter a signed copy of his book.
Cooking comes naturally to Dexter and Lauren said: “It’s not something we’ve pushed him into but it’s something he’s always seen us do from being a baby. He loves doing it and we have nurtured his cooking skills and it’s just normal for him.
“He has always used the sharpest knives and we’ve given him that trust and we’ve not lost a finger yet!”
Dexter is mature beyond his years and Lauren said: “Ask him if he wants a McDonald’s and he’ll say: ‘No, thank you. I’d rather have a whole trout instead.’”
Lobster is another favourite too but don’t get the wrong idea. This young man is a very down-to-earth cook who’s just as happy to whip up something cheap and simple.
Dexter can’t believe some people will spend £1 on a tin of soup when for the same money he could produce a tasty and nutritious meal.
Lauren said: “Dexter is very cost conscious but he can also have expensive tastes. He does like his finer foods and we’ve been lucky enough to take him to a lot of nice places to try food including Italy where we have family. He’s a whizz at making pasta.”
Dexter has a big collection of his own recipes and Lauren would love to find a publisher for a recipe book.
“He has the recipes, he has the branding and he has the desire,” said Lauren. “We’re just so grateful to all the professional chefs who have supported him or let him visit their kitchens and given him their time and cooking tips.”
Dexter, a pupil at Flockton First School, wants everyone to have a go at cooking – adults as well as children.
“If an eight-year-old can do it, then anyone can do it,” he said.