Aurelie Pare, Teen Author
14 year old Aurelie Pare is the author of
The Healthaliciously Good Cookbook, that she published herself after
founding a cookbook publishing company called Aurelie's Healthy Cuisine
Inc./Cuisine Sante D'Aurelie Inc. in November 2008.
Interview by Cynthia Mosher
Aurelie says she wrote and invented the recipes for The
Healthaliciously Good Cookbook after realizing how much "people really
needed a cookbook that would show them how to cook healthy without the
fuss". "It dawned on me that even with all the news about health we hear,
most of us don't have the slightest idea how cook or eat healthy."
She wrote and created the recipes for The Healthaliciously Good
Cookbook while attending a public middle school, although she is now
currently being homeschooled for the first time.
Says Aurelie's mother and director of Aurelie's Healthy Cuisine
Inc./Cuisine Sante D'Aurelie Inc. "Many people are surprised by the quality and
professionalism of the cookbook. Because of her age, people have a
tendency to underestimate her, yet her cookbook is truly healthy and of high
quality." Both Aurelie and her mother highlight the fact that Aurelie
truly wrote the book and created the recipes without "help" from an adult.
I'd like to start off by asking how you became interested in cooking.
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I started cooking at 11. My parents challenged me to learn how to prepare my favorite meals. A meal each week was set aside so I could cook. At first, I made a lot of pasta dishes and tried recipes from magazines. Later on, when I became a vegan after my family became vegetarian, I started to become even more interested in cooking and began expirementing in the kitchen, creating recipes suited to my family's needs and wants.
Why vegan? Is everyone in your family vegan or vegetarian?
I became a vegan because I think it's healthier and better for the enviroment. My family was already leaning towards vegetarianism in the few months before I became a vegan.
In my family, my mom is mostly vegetarian (eats fish occasionally, but doesn't drink milk at home) and my dad and younger brother eat vegetarian at home (occasional fish dish including, no milk for my dad) but not necessarily when we eat out.
What challenges have you found as a young vegan?
I find the most difficult part of being a vegan is eating out, it's a hassle to eat at restaurants. Our family usually eats at Asian restaurants, where it's a bit easier to find vegan food, but sometimes this isn't always possible, in which case I make sure to eat something in advance.
Have you had any former culinary training or are you pretty much self taught?
No, I don't have any former culinary training. My mom taught me the basics of cooking and I figured it out from there by researching on the internet and trial and error.
You've recently become a homeschooler. Was this a decision related to
your cooking career? Do you plan on making professional cooking and
recipe creation your life's path?
This year, for the first time, my mom is homeschooling me. This was partially because the book was being launched this year and partially because we wanted to try homeschooling.
Right now, I'm leaning towards studying nutrition in the future rather than cooking, but I think I'll always continue to cook, if not professionally.
Do you have a favorite book on vegan cooking or baking? A favorite
vegan chef or baker?
I have a few vegan cookbooks and my family has a good collection of cookbooks, but I couldn't choose a favorite! I love to just sit and read them, something I do often.
Is there anyone you regard to be your mentor? Someone inspirational to
My family, for supporting me. My mom runs the business with me and everybody else puts up with the cookbook chaos and helps out when the occasion arrises.
Do you have another cookbook planned for the near future?
I continue to invent new recipes and would like to make a sequel to The Healthaliciously Good Cookbook, but nothing is set in stone yet.