While other kids may be practising the art of hiding their brussel sprouts under the mashed potatoes or feeding their broccoli to the reluctant family dog, 9 year old Josh Thirion is combining food and comic strips to get children in the kitchen; learning not only to cook their veggies, but to love them too.

“If I just look at most of my friends, they like very limited foods like breads, meat, 2 minute noodles, and potatoes. Most of them don’t like fruit and vegetables, and that is terrible” says Josh.

“Maybe if they start cooking and work with different foods they will also start to like it.”

With this in mind Josh put together Cook With Josh, a unique cookbook with 48 recipes to inspire other children to whip on their aprons and get cooking. Cook With Josh offers easy to follow recipes as well as a variety of other activities like colouring-in, mazes, word games and connect the dots. The cookbook is also illustrated with some of Josh’s own hand drawn cartoons and step by step comic strips.

Drawing is, after all, how Josh found himself in the kitchen in the first place.

“We were all hooked on MasterChef Australia and while watching one night I drew a comic strip like a recipe.”

In Josh’s case it was something of the cart before the horse, he put together a handmade book for the Mzansi Magic Market Day which won him the prize for best stall.

“After I made the cookbook, my love for cooking kicked in,” said Josh.

From here on out Josh is still learning, he is training at the IHT Hotel School under Chef Yolande Wessels. He says she gives him the ingredients that he needs and he practises, learning what he can.

Speaking on why he loves cooking so much Josh says, “I think I am a very creative person and cooking allows me to be creative. When you make something and it is a success, it is a great feeling.”

I guess that is why he is so intent on helping other kids learn to cook too.

Josh’s favourite meal: chicken with rice and broccoli

Josh loves cooking with: fruit

Biggest kitchen inspirations: Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Nataniel and a bunch more..

Biggest inspirations in life: Josh’s mum and dad.

– Natalie Simon