Weekend cookout with young chef Jonah James

Jonah making breakfast pancakes

Jonah making breakfast pancakes

“Hey honey, pack your bags, we’re going for a weekend cookout with a master chef”, Mysaucepan exclaims.

I start visualizing myself with Adam Liaw and Poh until she interrupts my daydream.

“Jo has invited us to her new house and suggested we stay the weekend and cook with Jonah”.

“That’s a fantastic idea”, I reply.

“Jonah is one enthusiastic cook when he’s in the kitchen”, I add.

Jonah with fresh king prawns

Jonah with fresh king prawns from Sydney Fish Markets

You see, Mysaucepan’s cousin Jo and her husband John have just moved into their new house.  They have invited us to visit them and do a cookout with Jonah, their  8-year old son who is a budding chef in the kitchen.

On the way down to their new home in Stanwell Park which is a 40-minute drive south of Sydney, we make a quick pit stop at the Sydney Fish Markets to check out some of the freshest seafood that Sydney can offer.

Mud crabs are in season so we pick up three large female mud crabs and ten large king prawns.

Jonah marinating king prawns with butter and garlic

Jonah marinating king prawns with butter and garlic

We are planning a seafood dinner and Jonah is going to cook us some seared king prawns with butter and garlic while Mysaucepan is going to cook one of her all time favourite dishes.

After Jo and John’s guided tour of their new abode, Jonah begins to entertain and impress us with his culinary skills.

Jonah is so enthusiastic about one of his favourite recipes he patiently observes the beautiful fresh king prawns even as they are marinating with the EVOO, garlic and butter.

Junior MasterChef in the making

Junior MasterChef in the making

Perched on his little foot stand, Jonah seems to be a natural in the kitchen. He is at ease with the ingredients that he works with and takes to the kitchen stove like a seasoned cook.

Searing king prawns

Searing king prawns

“I think he will be taking over my role in the kitchen in a few years time”, quipped Jo, smiling and obviously proud of Jonah’s enthusiasm.

Searing king prawns

Searing king prawns

I peer into the pan and the king prawns are turning a bright golden orange as they sear in the pan.

The aroma of fresh seafood being seared is whetting our appetites and we eagerly wait for Jonah to dish out his prawns.

King prawns with herb butter, garlic and continental parsley

Jonah's pan seared king prawns with butter and garlic

The prawns look beautiful with the wonderful aromas of the garlic and butter. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice and all of us are tucking into these king sized prawns with our hands and fingers.

The slit down the back of each prawn makes it easy to peel. We lick and lap on the prawns shells which have beautiful charred flavours of garlic and butter from the hot grill.

Fresh ingredients for Singapore chilli crab

Fresh ingredients for Singapore chilli crab

Meanwhile, Mysaucepan has prepared all the ingredients for Singapore chilli crabs, a favourite among all of us.

This dish requires little cooking as most of the time is spent preparing the ingredients into a spicy and delectable paste.

Fresh ingredients for Singapore chilli crab

Fresh ingredients for Singapore chilli crab

The crabs are so fresh and we all tuck in again with our hand and fingers.

Mysaucepan's Singapore chilli crab

Mysaucepan's Singapore chilli crab

This is truly one dish that never fails to ignite the appetite of crab lovers. To me, there are only two ways to eat mud crabs – simply steamed or cooked Singapore chilli crab style.

Jonah making breakfast pancakes

Jonah making breakfast pancakes

Jonah is up bright and early the next morning and as we sip our coffee from John’s brand new coffee machine, Jonah is busy preparing his batter for our breakfast pancakes with strawberries and maple syrup.

Jonah’s tip for perfect pancakes is to pour a little of the batter at a time to test the heat of the pan.

Jonah making breakfast pancakes

Jonah making breakfast pancakes

As Jonah flips his pancakes, I take the opportunity to sneak in a quick interview with the budding youngster.

CMSP: So Jonah, what do you like about cooking?

Jonah: I like cooking because it is fun and creative. I can spend time in the kitchen with my mum.

Cooking strawberries with butter and brown sugar

Cooking strawberries with butter and brown sugar

CMSP: What is your favourite food?

Jonah: I like pizzas and my dad is going to build a new wood fire pizza oven in our backyard.

CMSP: What’s your favourite pizza then?

Jonah: I like the Hawaiian with ham, cheese and pineapple.

CMSP: What is your favourite dessert?

Jonah: My mum’s chocolate fondant, it’s the best dessert in the world.

Putting in the finishing touches

Putting in the finishing touches

Jonah prefers a generous dusting of icing sugar on his pancakes.

“Look, it’s snowing on my pancakes”, he gleefully tells us all.

Jonah's breakfast pancakes with strawberries and maple syrup

Jonah's breakfast pancakes with strawberries and maple syrup

Jonah’s pancakes are light and fluffy. They soak up the maple syrup and the fresh strawberries add a delightful sweetness and colour to his wonderful creation.

“Thanks buddy, we really enjoyed your cooking and spending the weekend with you and your family in your new home”.

Pancakes anyone?

Jonah with his favourite breakfast pancakes

So dear readers, what would you say to budding chef Jonah about his beautiful seared king prawns and breakfast pancakes?

Sydney Fish Markets
Bank street, Pymont
New South Wales 2009
Tel: +61 2 9004 1177

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24 Responses to Weekend cookout with young chef Jonah James

  1. Well done Jonah, I am really impress with your cooking skill! You will grow up to be a great cook.

  2. I say tha Jonah is naturally accomplished! And this makes me happy, given out current times in which most people don’t know anymore how to cook for themselves.

  3. What a talented boy! And he looks like a natural in front of the camera too :)

  4. Fiona N says:

    Wow… Jonah can come cook at my place anytime….and those crabs made me miss home.

  5. Proud Mum says:

    proud of you, son! and Jonah said : “can I have Auntie and Uncle over every weekend? I want them to teach me to cook some more!” Thanks …. we had a lovely weekend and enjoyed the leftover chilli crabs for dinner the next day! Proud Mum and Dad, J & J

  6. sugarpuffi says:

    wow that crab looks freakin good! Jonah = next Jr Masterchef?

  7. Wow that kid is amazing! I love kids cooking, I think it sets them up for a great life of eating well. Those prawns are mouth watering!

  8. Carolyn Jung says:

    Those prawns are kings, indeed! Huge! By the way, can Jonah come cook dinner at my house, too? ;)

  9. What a talented boy! It’s so nice to see them in the kitchen :) I have a young foodie nephew who recently cooked us a 4 course meal from Cordon Bleu cookbooks I got him – mindblowing!

    Just watch out, he may start a food blog soon ;)

  10. Great job Jonah, those prawns look so lovely and garlic is one of my very favourite tastes in the world. I can’t believe you had some chilli crab leftover for the next day, I would have just kept eating!

  11. Jonah is too cute! I cant wait to see him on Top Chef one day recreating all these wonderful dishes!! Those king prawns look as big as he does!!

  12. Manu says:

    What a cutie! He is a very promising little chef! Those prawns, crabs (WOW) and pancakes all look delicious! Well done… sounds like a fun weekend! :-)

  13. Dolly says:

    omg.. hes so cute… mmh prawns… im sure a lot of girls would love him hahaa :)

    OMG SINGAPORE CRABS… OMG.. my favourite.. thanks for sharing the recipe guys… not sure iif im pro enough to make it !!

  14. Shu Han says:

    OMG what a talented young chef! at his age i couldn’t even fry an egg to save my life. i’m so impressed!

  15. Hannah says:

    Well done Jonah! At his age, I was in the kitchen but all I did was bake brownies and cookies. He wins forever!

  16. JasmyneTea says:

    How cute is he?!?!?! Such a natural :) He can cook me dinner anytime!

  17. Oh how adorable! The food looks tasty too, seriously, well done to Jonah!

  18. Diana says:

    Junior masterchef cooking look so delicious! What a fun cooking day.

  19. Reem says:

    Such adorable and talented boy…
    Delicious food….
    Lovely post.

  20. tigerfish says:

    Jonah can cook savory dishes and sweet desserts so well, so young! *envy*

  21. He’s such a cute boy!!!!! And already a pro in the kitchen! While reading I keep hoping that my son (and daughter) will be like him – enjoys cooking and so friendly to the guests. =) His mom or dad must be teaching him basic already. And oh my! Mysaucepan’s Singapore chilli mud crabs area amazing!!!!!!!!! What a great feast….

  22. Janice says:

    Wow, those prawns are huge!

  23. heidi says:

    He is so cute!
    I would love to have a budding chef cook for me. ANYTIME!
    And those prawns are so big- really – this post is so good!
    I love all your food posts- but this one has personality like none other!
    Thanks for introducing us to Jonah!
    I feel quite privileged!

  24. Uncle Ben says:

    Well done Jonah! You definitely have Gong Gong’s trait!

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