Nicky Evans at work in his kitchen. (Special to The News)

Nicky Evans at work in his kitchen. (Special to The News)

Pitt Meadows student has recipe published in latest Field to Fork cookbook

Nicky Evans took second place in his category of the Field to Fork Challenge

A Pitt Meadows student is part of the 2021 edition of the Field to Fork Challenge Recipe Book, released last week, after taking second place in his category in the competition.

Nicky Evans, a Grade 7 student at Pitt Meadows elementary made a pear/cranberry upside down cake for the challenge that took place last year.

The 12-year-old has been in the kitchen since he was about two-years-old, said his mother Alison. But it has only been the last three years that he has been baking on his own and making his own creations.

Evans got the idea for the upside down cake from combining two dishes.

“We have a pear tree in the backyard and when the pears are ripe my mom will pick them and make a pear cranberry crumble. And my nana makes a pineapple upside down cake and I wanted to combine the two recipes,” explained Evans.

Evans had to fill out an application to enter the contest, then send in the recipe he intend to make. Then judges asked for a video.

So Evans was filmed buying cranberries at a local store, and picking pears in his backyard. He was filmed each step of the process.

He found out in November he came second in the Grade 4-7 category.

“I feel really proud,” said Evans.

”I love baking and I just felt so happy that I could send it to a judge and they could critique and help me become a better baker and I can share my recipe with many other people,” he added.

Evans’ recipe is one of 36 winning recipes just published in the 96-page 2021 Field to Fork Challenge Recipe Book showcasing B.C. grown ingredients. Winners were selected in four categories: 4-H BC Junior; 4-H BC Senior; Grade 4-7; and Grade 8-12.

The book boasts easy-to-understand instructions for each recipe along with photographs of each dish and the winner. The cookbook also includes a selection of locally grown dishes from BCAITC Chef Trevor Randle, Maple Ridge Secondary’s culinary arts instructor, and a special recipe submission from BC’s Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries, Hon. Lana Popham.

Winning submissions include: a hazelnut spread with crepes; oven glazed duck with kohlrabi fries and a garden salad; a Greek bifteki with roasted potatoes and baked cinnamon apples; and pork steak with potatoes and homemade Caesar salad – amongst others.

Evans loves baking because, first and foremost, after he is finished he gets to eat his creation.

But he also enjoys being creative and baking for his family.

“Because it always feels nice when they like it and it makes me feel like I did something nice,” he remarked.

Normally he bakes muffins, cookies, cupcakes, and the odd cake for a birthday. Lately he has been branching out.

“During the virtual conference, after the challenge, they had us cook some things and after that I actually got into a bit more of cooking which I hadn’t done much of,” he said.

Recently he also made a cake and cupcakes for his dogs and wants to make more dog-friendly recipes.

READ MORE: Contest for student chefs using B.C. grown ingredients

ALSO: Maple Ridge chef tops in B.C. for agriculture in the classroom

BC Agriculture In The Classroom is a non-profit, charitable organization that works with educators to bring local agriculture to students across the province and teach them about the relationship between farming and agriculture and the importance of cooking with local produce.

The Field to Fork Challenge teaches B.C. youth about cooking and agriculture in order to further farm-to-table education. The Challenge is a collaboration of 4-H British Columbia, and BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation (BCAITC), with the support of the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries.

“We are delighted to recognize the winners of the Challenge in this new recipe book,” said Pat Tonn, BCAITC executive director.

“In addition to having their recipes published, winners received cash prizes and attended a fun virtual conference. The aspiring chefs had a chance to cook alongside Chef Randle and learn about agriculture and food from knowledgeable B.C. farmers and other experts in the field,” Tonn noted.

The 2021 Field to Fork Challenge Recipe Book can be found online, go to 4hbc.ca or bcaitc.ca for free download.

Limited copies will also be available to purchase through the 4-H BC office at $20 each.


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Nicky Evans’ pear/cranberry upside down cake took second place in the Field to Fork Challenge in the Grade 4-7 category. (Special to The News)

Nicky Evans’ pear/cranberry upside down cake took second place in the Field to Fork Challenge in the Grade 4-7 category. (Special to The News)