Wyandotte teen has short stay on TV barbecue contest

Photo courtesy of Dale Ave-Lallemant Wyandotte Mayor Joseph Peterson with resident and upcoming chef Caleb Ave-Lallemant, local insurance agent Nick Bader and City Treasurer Todd Browning, past president of the Wyandotte Business Association.

Photo courtesy of Dale Ave-Lallemant
Wyandotte Mayor Joseph Peterson with resident and upcoming chef Caleb Ave-Lallemant, local insurance agent Nick Bader and City Treasurer Todd Browning, past president of the Wyandotte Business Association.

Red, White and BBQ

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – Local teen Caleb Ave-Lallemant, 13, faced the heat on the Season 2 opening episode of the “Kids BBQ Championship,” which aired at 1 p.m. May 20 on The Food Network.

The young chef, who learned to barbecue with his father, Dale Ave-Lallemant of Brotherhood of Swine BBQ, was eliminated during the first episode, but that hasn’t diminished his enthusiasm.

“Competing is a thrill,” Caleb said. “I’ve found myself just being excited to cook with my dad and uncle. I am happy most of the time, sometimes discouraged due to a loss, but I always know I can use that loss to further myself and my career.

“Cooking can but doesn’t have to be stressful.  It all depends on time constraints and how well the cook is going.”

Caleb said barbecuing comes down to recipes.

“I think about what goes on what, what goes with what, how it all goes together, and how long it should be cooking for,” he said.

He said the show was stressful from the perspective that contestants had a short period of time to cook something hopefully spectacular, which he said is harder than it looks. He said filming was never boring, and they did each scene in one or two takes.

When the first season of “Kids BBQ Championship” aired last year, friends urged him to apply for the show, so in February 2016 he found an online link that let him apply to a casting call.

Months later, he was asked to submit a YouTube video of his cooking style. That was followed by a Skype interview in October with the show’s chefs and staff.

“In November he made the cut to the next round where he had to cook on Skype in front of a chef,” Dale Ave-Lallemant said. “He made ribs, zucchini and pork loin in his YouTube. He grilled steak and potatoes for the Skype.”

A few days before Christmas, Caleb received an early present: an email saying he was chosen to be on the show.

They were in Los Angeles the second week of January for two days of filming, which ran longer due to bad weather.

Caleb said he would recommend that other interested teens apply for the show.

“It’s an experience of a lifetime,” Caleb said. “They will learn all the Hollywood magic behind the scenes. The downside is the rushing around. However, the staff was great and always made us feel at ease and comfortable.

“I would tell any kid that wants to do it to go for it. What do you have to lose? You’ll kick yourself the rest of your life if you talk yourself out of doing it.”

For more information, go to foodnetwork.com/shows/kids-bbq-championship/episodes/red-white-and-bbq.

(Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)