11-year-old Shauna Gilbride cooked up a storm last week as she took first place in her category at the Easy Food Home-Cooking Awards which took place last Friday evening at the Shelbourne Hotel. Shauna, who is from Ballymahon, celebrated her birthday on the day of the competition and was shortlisted in the Tiny Tastes category where she entered her recipe ‘Peanut Choc Pops’.
Shauna’s recipe, which consists of peanut butter, digestive biscuits and icing sugar ground up into little balls and dipped in chocolate came bout per chance, as her mother Trisha explains: “She saw me one day going to put peanut butter on toast but I got mixed up and ended up buttering a digestive biscuit. After that, she played around with the idea and used peanut butter and digestives to create her own recipe.”
A 5th class student in Forgney National School in Ballymahon who counts baking buns as one of her favourite hobbies, Shauna got a great reaction from her schoolmates on Monday morning last when she turned up for class. “When I came into school on Monday, everyone was congratulating me and saying well done. It was really nice”, she said.
“I love cooking because it can get really messy and I like the look on people’s faces when they taste what I’ve baked for them.”
Some may find cooking in front of esteemed chefs such as Kevin Dundon, Catherine Leydon and Catherine Fulvio daunting but nerves were never an issue for Shauna as she rose to the task. She returned home to a heroes welcome and on Sunday evening she celebrated her newly claimed prize with her grandparents, parents, sister Jamiee (8), brother Eoghan (2) and cousins and friends.
Shauna and her recipe will now feature in the Easy Food Home-Cook Hero Awards Cookbook which is to be launched in the coming months. According to her Mum, Shauna isn’t stopping there and she is even planning on penning her own culinary novel. “She (Shauna) is already talking about writing her own cookbook because she also loves writing. She enjoys it (cooking) and even if it doesn’t turn into a career, it is such a great skill to have. She is also talking about secondary school, home economics and perhaps teaching it. But then again, she is only 11 so she could change her mind yet.”