Like most, I enjoy discovering new local businesses. What’s even better? Finding out the story behind them. Imagine my surprise when the Pete Evans quality raw dessert I was sinking my teeth into was made by a 12-year-old homeschooler. Delicious doesn’t even begin to explain the taste of the completely healthy snickers ‘cheesecake’ masterpiece.
While most 12-year-olds are playing video games or spending the afternoon at the local skate park, Denzell, 12, is busy whipping up raw desserts in his mum’s kitchen. This home-schooled dessert prodigy only started making his raw creations four months ago. When he first started, Denzell began selling them to his neighbours in his parent’s driveway which were a hit.
“It’s something that I’ve always been interested in. I was always trying to help mum in the kitchen by stirring the batter. Mum is a good cook so I would watch her and become interested from there,” says Denzell. Cathy adds, “I started doing more recipes with him. It wasn’t always raw but we slowly transitioned from regular cakes to raw cakes.”
Cathy and Denzell then decided to approach a local cafe to see if they were interested in stocking his creations. With a massive batch made up once a week, Denzell’s desserts are now stocked at a local Tamborine Mountain cafe with another stockist hopefully coming up soon. “The plan is to grow bigger,” says Denzell.
Cathy says that she first knew that Denzell could cook at age of 5. “He showed so much enthusiasm so I would let him go crazy in the kitchen and make a massive mess. They say a messy cook is a good cook. I have to refrain myself from saying, Denzel clean up!”
Home-schooled for the last 12 months, Cathy is very supportive of Denzell’s business venture. With a student-lead teaching style, Cathy has let Denzell take the lead and learn what he is interested in. His business covers subjects such as maths and science. Looking at figures, Denzell has to work out how much he’s sold, how much stock is purchased for and how to price his desserts. “I get him to do all of that. He knows what actually is going into the stock while making a little bit of pocket money,” says Cathy.
Denzell is currently saving for their family trip to Bali this year where he plans on taking a cooking course on raw desserts. Cooking is something that Denzell sees himself continuing in the future and aspires to do a TAFE course in hopes of one day becoming a chef.
“The idea is to be a cook and a raw pastry chef. I would like to go to Paris eventually,” says Denzell.
You can purchase one of Denzell’s creations from The Fountain of Juice on Gallery Walk. Be warned, it’s hard to stop eating after one!