General News

Local author encouraging kids to eat healthy

June 15, 2017

Bancroft area author and chef Jared Collins published Yum Yum Chef in April and is set to publish Yum Yum Salads this month. They’re available locally at book stores such as Ashlie’s Books in Bancroft. / SARAH SOBANSKI Staff

By Sarah Sobanski

Two books aren’t bad for a new author and local chef.

Chef Jared Collins published Yum Yum Chef in April. His next book, Yum Yum Salads, is set to come out later this month. Local residents might recognize the brand — it’s the same as Collins’s soup line, Yum Yum Soups.

The inspiration for the books comes from reacquainting children with the importance of cooking, and cooking right.

“If you’re constantly going and buying frozen foods and cooking your kids frozen foods, or get behind fast food — they’re going to continue this. That’s going to be good to them but they’re not understanding why, when they grow up, and they have all this stuff, why they’re tired all the time,” said Collins, explaining children need to know how to prepare and eat healthy. “[It’s] because you’re putting garbage in your body, that’s why you’re tired all the time.”

Collins graduated culinary arts at Fleming College before going on to cook at places such as Chateau Lake Louise, and closer to home, Grail Springs. Now he’s turned his attention to writing, and getting kids excited about cooking.

“As a chef, I kind of have a goofy, outgoing personality. That kind of suits me writing a children’s book,” joked Collins when he sat down with Bancroft This Week. “I have a strong passion towards cooking and I have a very young personality. One day I was cooking at my house and I thought, you know what, I’m just going to try something. I went on my computer and starting writing a book about a chef and then I thought let’s make this for kids.”

Collins related that his mother nicknamed him, “Doo-zer.” A disclaimer for his inability to sit still and always having to be active and doing something — this time the thing was a children’s book.

“To do a children’s book, you really have to play the character — to be honest. All those illustrations in there is all of my commentary and all of my creations. They just drew the pictures for it,” he explained the writing to publishing experience was more gruelling than he expected. “A lot of people can write books, but it’s hard to get past the point of publishing it because a lot of people don’t want to put themselves out there.”

As a chef, Collins noted he’s met lots of people who don’t know how to cook. He said he simplifies the art and pays attention to the importance and health benefits of raw foods.

“Being a chef at home, having those skills at home, will help you through everything. I’ve met so many people that they just don’t know how to cook,” said Collins. “If you’re going to inspire someone it might as well be the younger generation… Cooking is a great pastime.”

He added, “I’m trying to touch people with this book. It’s not a book to read and put on a shelf. In a sense it’s meant to show the passion behind it, of how important it is for kids to learn cooking and maybe even want to be a chef one day.”

Collins will be at Ashlie’s Books in Bancroft to do book signings, readings, and treat taste-testings with his audience Saturday, June 17 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.



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