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Cooking With Kenny: How I Got Passionate About Making Food

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Kenny Yang recording his radio story at KQED's studios in San Francisco. (Suzie Racho/KQED)

more stories from the youth takeover

The following story was produced for Youth Takeover week at KQED.

A new craft that I learned was cooking. I never really wanted to cook because I’m kind of lazy, and I've only ever really enjoyed eating food. But I decided to give cooking a shot.

Before I started to cook, I watched some instructional videos on YouTube, like how to make a California burrito and how to make eggs Benedict. They showed a step-by-step process, which made cooking look easy.

But I knew it wasn’t going to be that simple. So I started off by making some extremely hot and spicy ramen noodles for my friends to try.

Soon after that, on the day before Thanksgiving, my friends and I had a "friendsgiving." It was the perfect opportunity to show off my new skills.

My friends were in charge of the fried chicken, and I handled the mashed potatoes. But this wasn't just any mashed potato dish. It was based on a BuzzFeed recipe: "How To Make the Best Creamy Mashed Potatoes."

Kenny Yang, a senior at Lincoln High School in San Francisco, says he's passionate about his new hobby: cooking. (Courtesy of Kenny Yang)

I'm not gonna lie: Mashing these potatoes really got me sweating. The instructions were to push the potatoes through a fine mesh sieve, but I didn’t have one of those, and I also didn’t have a potato masher, so I had to use a fork to finely mash all six pounds of the boiled potatoes.

But after adding the butter and heavy cream, along with some beef gravy I made out of beef stock and flour, the mashed potatoes actually came out pretty tasty.

Then, the week after, I invited my friends over again to taste my latest creation: supreme nachos. And I didn’t just stack ingredients, I also marinated the beef and grilled it up. These nachos were inspired by the asada fries from El Burrito Express on Taraval Avenue in San Francisco.

Now I can proudly say that cooking is one of my greatest passions.

Kenny Yang is a senior at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco.

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