The Most Youthful Chef on the Bloch
By MAYA MASHEB
Former “Teen Chopped” contestant and senior Tyler Bloch recently instructed a cooking class at the Williams-Sonoma store in the Walt Whitman Mall.
Tyler’s love for cooking began about five years ago, when he was at his aunt and uncle’s beach house. Because it was raining and there wasn’t much to do, he began watching the Food Network and became hooked while watching Bobby Flay. Soon he began cooking with his aunt Rina Bloch-Brooke and his uncle in their kitchen. “By the time I had left, I discovered a new passion of mine,” Tyler said. Since then, cooking has become a large component of his life. His mother Shelly Bloch said that Tyler normally does the cooking while she and her husband sit on kitchen stools and occasionally help out. She stated, “We are in the kitchen a lot together. I’d say five out of seven days. It’s definitely the center of our home.”
The opportunity to teach this demo arose when Tyler was walking around the mall with his friends and, naturally, walked into the cooking store. “You really don’t see that many 17-year-old boys in Williams-Sonoma,” he said. Taking note of this, the manager walked over to Tyler, and they began to talk. After his friends brought up how he was a former contestant on Food Network’s “Teen Chopped” and Tyler expressed his love for cooking, she asked him if he would be interested in doing a cooking demo. “We’d been in touch, and eventually we made it work. I’m really glad we were able to do it,” said Tyler.
During the cooking tutorial, Tyler made all vegetarian dishes including guacamole; butternut squash, mushroom and spinach risotto;and a lentil Bolognese which he said, “Everyone loved. It was really, really tasty and was really fun to make.” He also demonstrated using the spiralizer, which transforms vegetables into pasta. Tyler’s friend and senior Max H. said his favorite part was that “so many people he didn’t even know showed up and supported him.” He also was enthusiastic to eat the food once it was cooked. Another friend of Tyler’s senior Eric B. enjoyed trying the food as well, but especially enjoyed Tyler’s “overall interaction with the audience.”
Regarding his future, the former “Teen Chopped” contestant does not believe he will pursue cooking as a career. “It’s a very tight, stressful, hectic industry, and I’m not sure if I’m willing to let it take over my life in a sense. But, I will still be cooking throughout my whole life, and I’ll be making dinners and I will not stop cooking as long as I’m alive.” As for his parents, they feel they have been truly spoiled by Tyler’s cooking. “We’re not quite sure what it’s going to be when Tyler goes off to college in the fall and we have to cook for ourselves. That too will be a mystery!” said his mother.
Tyler has an Instagram account called “youthful cooking.” He posts pictures of food he makes and gives condensed recipes for his followers to try at home. He has a growing fan base. To visit his Instagram, click here.
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