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Baked with a Sweet Spirit: Chef Andrew’s Creative Confections

Baked with a Sweet Spirit: Chef Andrew’s Creative Confections
By Rachel Jaeger

Chef Andrew Clark from Madison, Mississippi, has gathered a significant following on Instagram and around his hometown for his intricate and delicious baked confections. His cookies, cakes, and other delectable sweets have been sold at the Madison Farmer’s Market and have raised funds for organizations, including Running for Lily, We Will Go Ministries, VBS fundraisers and local animal shelters. Aside from charitable work, Chef Clark has even made appearances for baking demonstrations and offered master-classes while running an in-home baking business. However, this remarkable baker’s work is even more astounding when his age is taken into account: Chef Andrew is ten years old.

According to Andrew’s mother, Kristi Waterloo Clark, the spunky young baker first showed interest in making sweets when he was only four. Kristi encouraged her son with simple recipes, such as a chocolate chip icebox cake, and he was highly invested in the process. After watching a kids’ baking championship on Food Network, Andrew realized that children could bake and transform their creative ideas into a culinary reality. Ever since, he has been enthralled with the art of baking; as he is homeschooled, the flexibility of his schedule allows him to explore and experiment in his passion.

Andrew’s precocious eye for detail and skilled hand have created sweet treats from an M&M-filled tank-shaped cake to caramel-drizzled eclairs to Valentine’s cookies with hidden love notes inside. However, the secret ingredient to his masterpieces is his passion. When asked what he loves so much about baking, Andrew stated without hesitation, “I like creating things, and sometimes I bake just because I want to, not specifically for orders. It gives me joy.” Kristi describes her son’s heart as the ultimate catalyst for his gift. She shared that “he always says a prayer before he bakes, and he says, “May they taste and see that the Lord is good through the things we bake today in our kitchen.” That’s where his heart is. It’s about that, somehow and some way that people see the love of Jesus. And we thank the Lord all the time for his gifts and abilities.”

Aside from his incredible capacity to produce professionally-designed and fashioned baked goods, Andrew plays football and takes tumbling classes; he is fascinated with weather and plans to pursue meteorology in college several years down the road. His innate creativity compels him to bake and make his imagination come to life; he considers his passion as something that he will continue to foster throughout his life. His ingenuity is evident in his creations, from unicorn cakes to macaroons to Mississippi-shaped sugar cookies. For a final tidbit of baking advice from Chef Andrew himself, he suggests to “always follow the recipe. Measure everything out and in the right order. If you can’t follow the instructions, but your kid is a baker – follow your kid.”

A few days ago Andrew shared some exciting news with us. He was invited to be an assistant to a chef doing live demonstrations for Eat Y’all on September 9 at 7 p.m. at The Lake House in Ridgeland, MS! He is really looking forward to this incredible experience.

Chef Andrew can be followed on his Instagram account, @thechefandrewclark. For more information or sweet treat orders, he can be contacted at thechefandrewclark@gmail.com.

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