He’s only in Grade 8, but Edmontonian Alex Czajka has already discovered his passion — in the kitchen. He bakes almost every day.
“When I was approximately six or seven, me and my grandma would always bake carrot cake, cookies — and especially cream puffs and pies,” Alex said.
His grandmother recently passed away, but Alex is determined to make sure her talents are remembered.
“I’ll pass it on for her, I’ll make sure her that her grandchildren and great grandchildren can bake.”
So far, he’s been doing an excellent job. Alex was selected to be on Season 4 of Food Network Canada’s Kids Baking Championship.
He’s the only one representing the Great White North.
“I just want to prove that us Canadians can bake just as well as Americans can,” Alex said.
His father knew his son could bake, but was still surprised when the producers selected him.
“To be honest with you, I was shocked that he was that good,” Eric Czajka said.
“I was stunned, I was so proud. It was something almost surreal.”
As of Jan. 20, only two episodes of the show have aired, but already Alex has learned a hard lesson about the importance of oven mitts. He accidentally grabbed a cookie tray that was fresh out of the oven, instead of a cold one.
“Oh God my hand hurts,” he said on the show. “I just burned myself. I’m feeling like I want to give up.”
His father gave him a pep talk backstage and Alex continued with the competition.
“I finished the challenge,” Alex recalled. “I’m always going to be proud of that.”
It’s been a few months since filming ended. Alex can’t say how he fared on the show, but he definitely made it past the first two episodes.
“The thing that I enjoy about baking is just science and math fused together. I love those two subjects,” he explained.
“You get to make experiments and then you get to eat your experiments.”
When he’s not baking, he loves playing with puzzles and building Lego.
For now, Alex wants to finish school and keep networking in the food world. One day, he hopes to turn his passion into a career.
“When I grow up, I think I might want to be a pastry chef or something. Because when I first started baking I thought, this was meant for me. I should do this forever.”