She’s only 19 years old and yet she’s already moved across the world, switched provinces and—more importantly—taken the Canadian culinary world by storm.
Beccy Stables is this year’s winner of Masterchef Canada, the youngest contestant to ever snag the culinary title.
“It meant the world to me. I can inspire kids to get back in the kitchen, people of my age, the young adults,” Stables said from her Kelowna home.
Those young people, often who go for the take-out option instead of cooking a meal themselves, Stables said.
“I think we are losing some of that. Cooking for yourself, having your friends over and having a dinner party. That is what makes memories, that is how you spend time with people, around the table,” she said.
“People have so many food memories. A certain smell and you think, ‘Oh my God, that reminds me of one time with me mom.’ It takes you back places and I love that. I really want to inspire the younger generation to get back in the kitchen.”
While she was the youngest contestant to win, Stables said age was just a number on the Masterchef set.
“Being the youngest was strange at first because you think people are going to treat you like a baby, but they didn’t. The group of contestants were like a family, everyone was just so welcoming to each other. It was very nice to be in an environment where age didn’t matter.”
One of the things that set Stables apart this season was the “rag to riches” story line portrayed on the show. Unlike some of the other contestants, Stables’ culinary experiences were limited as she had zero professional experience or training and had never tasted or worked with many of the higher-end ingredients contestants are given.
“I grew up on a lot of English food – so starchy, kind of wintery food.
“It was very interesting to work with these ingredients, I loved it and I could learn so much. I had never worked with them before and its the best opportunity to work them, because you don’t have to pay for it,” she added with a laugh.
While her initial plan on the show was to use the winnings to attend culinary school, Stables has chosen a different path.
“I want be a self-taught cook, I think that’s really special to have that because not many people do that anymore,” she added.
While Stables was born in Grimsby, U.K., she spent the last decade in Sherwood Park, Alta., and now Canada’s Masterchef is calling the Okanagan home.
“The Okanagan provided a better lifestyle for us and my niece, she loves the water and the hotter environment,” said Stables about their move across the provincial line.
“And, the type of food I want to do is this naturesque kind of thing and it is just so beautiful here. You look out, see a mountain and I think, ya I am going to put that on a plate.”
She also said the abundance of great local produce is something the Okanagan had over Alberta. All reasons she’s decided to open her first venture right here on the shores of Okanagan Lake.
“My and my family started a catering company here in Kelowna that’s called Bec Catering and it is letting me be myself,” said Stables.
“I want to put nature back on the plate. I want to ‘un-Americanize’ Canadian cuisine and bring it into its own. When you think Canada, you think maple syrup and poutine and ya they’re good, they’re very good, but that’s what we’re known for, but we have all this and no one is capitalizing on it the way I want to do it. I want to show people what this country has to offer in a way no one else is really doing it right now.”
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Stables and her family moved to the Kelowna area just two weeks ago, all of them geared towards making Stables’ new venture a success.
“It is just so beautiful here, we are so lucky to live here.
“Reach out if you have any questions. If you want us to do a private dinner, you want to do canapes, just desserts, we can cater if for you. Check us out.”
And it is a true Stables family venture with her sister as manager, her dad as a cook and her mom as a dual babysitter/dishwasher.
Her journey to running her own boutique catering company in Kelowna all began with her love of food, of cooking and of the TV show Masterchef.
“I applied as it just seemed like such a great opportunity, it looked like so much fun, there were so many young people and it just looked like such a great opportunity to get my name out there,” said Stables.
“I love the learning aspect of food, I find it so interesting. There is so much to learn all the time, there is always something new and everywhere you go has a different culture.”
She applied and didn’t think too much of it until she got the call that turned her life into a whirlwind.
“I was just like, ‘Oh my God,’” said Stables. “If you can get the call you’re on, it is very rushed after that. They tell you, you need this, this, this and this and plane tickets and pack this and you’re there and it’s a rush.”
She said that while some viewers believe the show appears scripted, what you see is what you get.
“When you see them cheering on the balcony, that’s real. When Kaegan dropped his cake, that was real, like that actually happened, you cannot even script that stuff,” said Stables. “Everything that happened, happened.”
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