Hamilton teen Raihan Audu spent two days cooking a Thanksgiving meal completely by himself for his household. The 14-year-old by no means imagined {that a} picture of the feast would convey at the very least a bit pleasure to a whole bunch of hundreds of individuals.

His older brother posted a photograph of the meal on Twitter — displaying bowls filled with candy and savoury meals, with chef Raihan on the helm of the desk. Raihan solely knew it had been posted when his brother known as him at college to say that hundreds of individuals have been sharing it on social media. 

“I checked his Twitter, and it was already at 10,000 likes. After which it saved on going up, and it was overwhelming,” Raihan stated, including that the feedback have been telling him what a superb job he had completed. “It was very nice.”  

On the time of writing this text, the image had been preferred greater than 787,000 instances, with nearly 70,000 retweets. 

Raihan began serving to his mom make Thanksgiving dinner when he was 10 years previous, however over the previous few years, he is taken extra of a lead. 

His older brother who shared the picture, Fadel Audu, stated it has all the time been clear how a lot ardour Raihan has for cooking. 

“He is all the time been making meals and going surfing and taking a look at recipes. Simply making meals on a regular basis,” he stated. 

When Fadel got here house at 11 p.m. on Oct. 11, the day earlier than Thanksgiving, his youthful brother was already within the center of cooking the vacation meal for the following day. 

“Apron on, dough in every single place, all that stuff,” he stated. “Then I get up the following morning and he is nonetheless within the kitchen cooking.” 

The teenage cook dinner did not cease till 2 p.m. on Monday.

The tip consequence was a collection of dishes that featured macaroni and cheese, candy potato casserole, two varieties of rice and a turkey — which even managed to shock his older brother. It wasn’t like a “common, dry” turkey, he stated — it was loads higher. 

“The meals’s actually good. I am stunned he was capable of get each single dish to style good,” Fadel, 19, stated.

“I am very pleased with him. He actually has expertise. He will get higher each single time he cooks, yearly.” 

Getting artistic within the kitchen

Raihan, who got here to Canada together with his household in 2010, was born in Ivory Coast. His dad and mom are from Nigeria. 

He began cooking early on, with easy issues like instantaneous noodles, however was pushed to make meals that have been complicated and integrated a whole lot of completely different dishes, like Thanksgiving dinner. 

Raihan stated he made the marinade for the turkey with onion, garlic and lemon, and utilized butter beneath the pores and skin with out ripping it. Then he basted the turkey once in a while. 

The time crunch, Raihan stated, is a part of the enjoyable. 

“It is actually intriguing, the preparation it takes,” he stated. “Additionally, the period of time it takes. How it’s a must to handle your time to satisfy deadlines…. I’ve to complete all by [1 p.m.]. So, it is simply enjoyable attending to be within the kitchen, get artistic and make attention-grabbing meals.”

The cook dinner is self-taught and appears up recipes on-line. However he stated he alters them, including completely different flavours, and retains recipes he creates in a ebook.

“I make my very own twist to it by including various things to make it style higher,” Raihan stated.

He stated he likes to cook dinner conventional Nigerian meals, like amala and jollof rice, but additionally pizza, wings and lasagna. The teenager additionally delves into baking croissants and French baguettes.

Raihan stated he gravitates towards a whole lot of Cajun seasonings, jalapeno peppers and Scotch bonnet peppers.

‘I really feel like he deserves this recognition’

Fadel thought individuals could be interested by seeing how gifted his youthful brother was, however he by no means thought the picture would get such unimaginable traction.

“I am very pleased for him. He is being doing this for a very long time, and I really feel like he deserves this recognition. Each time he cooks, I might all the time see him being on MasterChef [for] children, cooking it up. I feel he can actually do it,” he stated. 

“After I’m within the kitchen, and I am simply making my easy stir fry, he is beside me making some colossal creation that I’d have by no means considered. And it is actually good, too.”

Raihan stated he will begin posting cooking movies on his new TikTok account, raihancooks, so individuals can proceed to observe a few of his Thanksgiving recipes and different meals he likes to make.

For extra tales in regards to the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success tales throughout the Black neighborhood — take a look at Being Black in Canada, a CBC challenge Black Canadians will be pleased with. You can read more stories here.



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