Every year, The Drum presents individuals who our readers need to watch and take note of. For 2017, we begin with youth to watch. Because of their leadership skills, gifts, talents, and personality, twelve Louisiana youth have been selected as Youth to Watch in 2017. “These youth show exceptional character and work ethics. They have vision and ability to be successful with excellence.”
Meet Alexandria “Chef Alex” Bellanger, 9
School: Central Intermediate
Parents: Al and Dorsey Bellanger
College and career choice: I want to be top in my class like my grandmother. My ultimate dream is to become a doctor who also cooks. So I want to own my own hospitals, yes hospitals and I would like to own a bakery.
Biggest accomplishments: Oh goodness! Where do I start? I have several. Some of my biggest accomplishments are cooking for and serving the homeless for Thanksgiving, donating my hair to the “Locks of Love” foundation, being live on air with Graham Ulkins on WAFB, cooking live in my home on NBC 33, and achieving A B Honor Roll.
Why was this “big” for you? I would have to say that cooking and serving the homeless for Thanksgiving made me really happy. It felt good to show others that people do care. I love putting a smile on others’ faces and I loved to hear them talk about my cooking and how good it was. Donating my hair to the Locks of Love foundation was BIG for me, because I knew it would make someone smile again and that brings me joy knowing that little me could do that for someone. Being on WAFB & NBC 33 was really big… I mean what average 8 year old at the time can say that they had camera crews setup in their home while they cook. It was an awesome experience. Achieving A B Honor Roll was a big deal to me because it means that all of my hard work is paying off.
Life aspirations: I want to be known as the little girl with a big heart. I want to become a doctor and help people all over the world, as well as being known as a famous chef.
What is your motto, core belief, or favorite quote? Everyone that knows me knows my motto is “The magic always starts in the kitchen”. For my helping this is where it all begins, family time and good eating.
Mentors: My parents are my biggest mentors. They both tell me that I can be whatever I want to be and if possible help me to achieve it. My dad has helped me build my grilling skills, along with whipping up a scrumptious bowl of grits. My mom mentors me by not only sharing her love for cooking by teaching me cooking skills but teaching me to love the unique young lady God has created me to be.
Goals for 2017: My number one goal of 2017 is to release my debut cookbook Spring 2017 and have a Spring and Summer book tour.
What are you reading? “No Ordinary Sound: A Melody Classic,” “Beforever,” and “American Girl”. I am really enjoying this book. It covers the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
What music are you listening to? Since Christmas is my favorite holiday. I listen to Christmas music year round. There’s something about it that just makes me happy. Right now Mariah Carey’s holiday channel on Pandora is on repeat.
Hobbies: What do you do for fun? I love cooking and working on new recipes, attending the theatre, traveling, swimming, dancing, reading, antique shopping and arts and crafts.