Taught by grandma: 8-year-old's bannock recipe wins Canada-wide contest for kids

Jazmine Akeeagok of Iqaluit is just eight years old, but she got to showcase her bannock at a gala in Ottawa.

'She was an impressive young woman,' says federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor

Jazmine Akeeagok's bannock recipe was selected as a winner from among 300 submissions from across Canada for the 2017 Kid Food Nation Recipe Contest. (Submitted by Parniga Akeeagok)

Jazmine Uki Akeeagok is just eight years old. 

But her homemade bannock recipe was featured on a menu at a gala last month, at the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel in Ottawa.

Jazmine's bannock was featured on the gala's menu as a starter, alongside Sarah's Everything Salad from New Brunswick. (Submitted by Parniga Akeeagok)

"It's chewy, and it's sort of crunchy," said Jazmine.

"It looks really good ... and it tastes really good." 

Jazmine's recipe was selected as one of 26 winners from about 300 entries for the 2017 YTV's Kid Food Nation Recipe Contest. The contest aims to promote healthy eating among youth.

Her bannock was among an impressive roster of healthy recipes made by kids from across Canada, including a kid-friendly sushi-in-a-jar from Quebec, a P.E.I. lobster salad, and a homemade raspberry pie from Yukon.

​The Oct. 22 gala gathered all the young contest winners, and Jazmine said her bannock was an appetizer on all the tables. 

"I sort of felt shy, and I felt nervous," she said. "I saw everybody eating the bannock, almost everybody." 

Jazmine also recalled meeting the federal Health Minister there.

Jazmine and the federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor at the Kid Food Nation gala in Ottawa. (Submitted by Parniga Akeeagok)

"She was an impressive young woman," said Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.

"She just spoke to me about her experience taking part in this. It was just great to hear how enthusiastic she was about cooking." 

Petitpas Taylor said she was "really proud" of the young boys and girls she met, and said she hopes they will bring their knowledge on healthy eating back to their communities.

Taught by grandma

Jazmine's knack for kneading the traditional bread came from hanging out with grandma, who makes bannock every weekend.

"When I first ate it, I wondered how to make it," said Jazmine. "I was really good after I tried making it [the first time]."

"She got her recipe from grandma. So I think she's quite proud of that," said Parniga Akeeagok, Jazmine's mom.

Bannock isn't the only thing Jazmine knows how to cook. She can cook a mean breakfast of French toast, bacon and eggs.

"She makes her own eggs over easy for her brother," said Parniga. "We encourage her to be very independent."

Iqaluit's Jazmine and her mother Parniga Akeeagok spent a weekend in Ottawa at the gala which celebrated the 26 young cooks who won a YTV kids recipe contest. (Submitted by Parniga Akeeagok)

Parniga also added that her daughter was named after her role model, an elder named Uki.

"She was apparently good at making bannock as well ... They say sometimes people you get named after, they take on some of their characteristics." 

With files from Qavavao Peter