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Young chef spreads his love for food
by Caroline Young
cyoung@neighbornewspapers.com
August 15, 2012 11:14 AM | 2430 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self <br>
Aspiring chef Gevin Reynolds, 15, of Smyrna, shows a meal of hand seared tilapia with tortilla breadcrumb crust topped with corn black bean salsa.
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Last Wednesday, lunch was fresh pan-seared tilapia with a tortilla breadcrumb crust with corn and black bean salsa, atop braised purple cabbage. And it was made by 15-year-old Gevin Reynolds, a sophomore at the Westminster Schools in Buckhead.

“I am always the youngest person in [cooking] class,” he said.

Reynolds discovered his passion for cooking in a class at the Viking Cooking School in Buckhead when he was in sixth grade.

His culinary talent was soon revealed in his family’s Smyrna kitchen, as he started to help his mother Marlene and eventually began cooking meals and writing recipes on his own.

Additionally, a trip to New York in March allowed him to shadow the staff in one of famous chef David Burke’s restaurants, called David Burke at Bloomingdale’s. At the start of the summer, Reynolds launched a YouTube cooking show, called “SWAGourmet,” as well as a partner cooking blog.

“I film on Sundays every week or every other week,” he said. “I have about 10 videos.”

Most of his veggies and meats are sautéed on the stovetop, and he likes to make his food “flavor-packed” and “texturally exciting.”

“Gevin and I would talk about our mutual love for curry, spice, and Thai food,” said Westminster English teacher Carter Thomas, who taught Reynolds during the year he discovered his culinary passion. “Watching him create and ‘season with swag’ is enough to make my mouth water.”

Reynolds said he educates himself on food because he likes to have a strong knowledge of his ingredients. He constantly watches the Food Network and reads cooking magazines and books.

His food is heart-healthy and nutritious, and he said he never fries anything.

“I stick with the fundamentals of cooking and learning about ingredients,” Reynolds said. “To me I think healthy is using a lot of vegetables but I like to use vegetables in different ways.”

He said he tries to make his meals more fun to spark the interest of his peers and other young people.

“My friends who watch my show a lot will request recipes, so some of my episodes will be to help those people who asked for specific recipes,” Reynolds said.

Despite all of his culinary endeavors, Reynolds said he is not aspiring to be a famous chef but plans on going into the engineering or medicine fields.

“I’m just trying to do as much as I can and cook as much as I can while I am young,” he said.

“When it comes to cooking and sharing this passion, I love the fact that he takes requests,” Thomas said. “He's humble and willing to try new things, and he's blessed with such an open and loving heart.”

Reynolds also teaches cooking classes for kids 4 to 12 at the Young Chefs Academy in Marietta and will soon start cooking for nursing homes around Atlanta every month.

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