This 3-Year-Old Instagram Chef Proves It’s Never Too Early to Start Cooking
Julia Child and other later-in-life chefs have already shown that you’re never too old to master new culinary skills. But you’re also never too young, as a toddler and her mother are proving through the budding baker’s increasingly popular Instagram account.
Little Chef Izzy, a charming 3-year-old who lives in London, has been showing off her confections on Instagram since September 2019. Her mother, Barbara, says she’s been active in the kitchen for far longer than that, however. She only decided to share her daughter’s efforts online after friends and family expressed their amazement that Izzy, who just turned 3 in December, has already proven herself capable of whipping up cupcakes, gingerbread men, pizza, and much more.
“Izzy has been baking and helping me in the kitchen since one year old. I only have a few pictures because at that time I didn’t have an Instagram and it was just for us,” Barbara said. “It was only when she was 2 years old I started recording her on my Snapchat and a lot of friends and family suggested to me to get her an Instagram account and post on there as they were amazed at what she was making at 2 years.”
Barbara thinks some of Izzy’s interest in cooking stems from her child watching her cook. But Barbara also used basic baking ingredients to encourage messy, hands-on play when Izzy was younger.
“I would give her flour and milk and she would just mix together and pour in a muffin tin and play around,” Barbara said. “After a while she actually wanted to bake and put things in the oven that’s when we took it to the next step.”
Izzy’s love for food has also led the mother-child team to come up with their own invention, a custom blend of organic, all-purpose seasoning without added salt, preservatives or flavor. Barbara said while the seasoning isn’t for sale, it’s become a staple around her house.
“When Izzy started to help me cook she ended up using like 10 different jars of herbs and spices such as organic ginger powder, organic garlic powder etc to season her meals,” Barbara said. “So we ended up buying organic herbs and spices separately and mixed the spices together in a container. So now if she wants to season certain meals, she can just use that one seasoning.”
Izzy’s Instagram doesn’t only document her kitchen adventures; it’s also a space to show off Izzy’s explorations into a number of different hobbies and activities, including, dance, gymnastics, art and sports. She’s also already shown a love for globe-trotting, having already visited Dubai and Nigeria. Since Izzy and her family are British-born Nigerians, Barbara said she and Izzy have been learning how to make more traditional Nigerian meals together along with exploring the art of making waffles, crumbles and lamb shanks.
Although Barbara said the content she posts on Izzy’s behalf hasn’t changed since she first started the page, her daughter has only recently amassed a wider following. A couple of weeks ago, the page had 500 followers. However, after Erin Jeanne McDowell, author of “The Fearless Baker,” included Izzy in a list of five Black bakers she admired, the toddler’s follower count went up significantly. Since then, Izzy’s work has been shared by People Magazine associate food editor Ana Calderone, Food 52 and Southern Homes Magazine’s Brian Hart Hoffman. Her following has jumped to nearly 7,500 as of Friday morning.
Barbara admits that cooking with a 3-year-old partner can have its downsides, particularly when it comes to clean up. Still, she encourages parents to try cooking with their children anyways; the experiences are well worth a few spilled ingredients.
“Ignore the mess,” Barbara said. “I know the first few times of cooking with your kids will be very messy … but it is worth it as they are gaining a valuable skill that will serve them for life.”