Dahlia Billing says part of the inspiration for her recipe came from her Italian grandmother. (Bailey Moreton - Sooke News Mirror)

Dahlia Billing says part of the inspiration for her recipe came from her Italian grandmother. (Bailey Moreton - Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke student comes third in province-wide cooking competition

Dahlia Billing’s West Coast frittata contains smoked salmon, garlic scapes and goat cheese

Local produce had always been in the kitchen when Dahlia Billings was growing up. Dahlia also wants to be a baker when she’s older, making the Field to Fork Challenge a perfect occasion to make her cooking debut.

Dahlia came third in the Grade 4 to 7 category of the province-wide cooking competition, with her recipe for a West Coast frittata, including smoked salmon, garlic scapes and goat cheese.

“I just thought about a bunch of local ingredients and just put it together because my grandma’s Italian and I’m from the island, so I just wanted to put it together into one,” Dahlia said.

Dahlia’s mother Pam said local initiatives like the box program from Silver Cloud Farms helped inspire some additions to the recipe like the garlic scape. All the other ingredients, from the eggs to the smoked salmon, were bought locally.

Pam said Dahlia first showed interest in cooking after watching baking shows together.

The Field to Fork Challenge, now in its second year, is run by 4-H British Columbia and the B.C. Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation with support from the provincial Agriculture Ministry.

As well as winning cash, Dahlia will get to attend the virtual Field to Fork Virtual 2021 Conference on Nov. 13, where she will learn about farming local ingredients and how to cook a three-course meal. The meal includes honey mustard chicken with goat cheese, prosciutto ham, and balsamic jus served with B.C. hazelnut and basil pesto — something Pam said she’s excited about.

Despite showing a keen talent for savouring cooking, Dahlia says she most enjoys baking — brownies and miniature doughnuts being her favourite things to make.

Dahlia one day hopes to run her own bakery or have a cooking show.

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