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7-year-old pastry prodigy turns great-grandma’s recipes into Instagram sensation, competes in 2023 Alfajor World Cup

My passion for cooking has made me a mini-influencer with 540,000 followers on Instagram. I enjoy creating videos on baking cakes, alfajores, brownies, and cookies.

  • 7 months ago
  • December 10, 2023
6 min read
Seven-year-old Julieta Garay experiences the excitement of the Alfajor World Cup Championship | Photo courtesy of the Garay's family Seven-year-old Julieta Garay experiences the excitement of the Alfajor World Cup Championship | Photo courtesy of the Garay's family
Journalist’s notes
interview subject
Julieta Garay, a 7-year-old culinary enthusiast, has been captivating audiences since 2020 through her Instagram account @juliicocina. With a mission to inspire and engage others in cooking, Julieta shares her delightful creations, earning widespread popularity and amassing over half a million followers. Known for her confidence in front of the camera, she passionately showcases her love for baking, inspiring budding chefs worldwide. In August, she took her talents to a new stage by participating in the Alfajor World Cup Championship, an experience she proudly shared on her Instagram @mundialdelalfajor.ar.
background information
The kitchen offers a space where everyone, especially children, can thrive. Introducing kids to cooking at an early age brings numerous lifelong advantages.

The El Campeonato Mundial del Alfajor [Alfajor Word Cup Championship] is the first event of its kind dedicated to recognizing the world’s finest alfajores. These are high-quality confections made from recipes passed down through generations, using the purest ingredients. It’s a celebration of culinary tradition and excellence.

For more on the benefits of children learning to cook, visit Vicens Vives Blog. To explore more about El Campeonato Mundial del Alfajor®, check out their official website here.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — My cooking story began when my grandmother gifted me a magical toy kitchen. Now, at seven years old, I share my real-life kitchen adventures on social media. All of this culminated when I competed in the Alfajor World Cup Championship with my father by my side.

Early on, I played for hours with my toy kitchen, pretending to whip up treats for my dolls. Then, my dad found my great-grandmother’s old recipes and suddenly, playtime transformed into serious baking. I’m not just a kid that loves to bake; I’m an aspiring chef with a big Instagram following.

Competing in the Alfajor World Cup Championship felt thrilling. This journey is not just about baking; it’s about inspiring others. My motto says it all: “I don’t sell cakes; I help you create them!” 

Read more culinary stories at Orato World Media

Stumbling upon my great-grandma’s handwritten recipes inspired my cooking journey

My cooking journey began in kindergarten. I loved to play with bowls, pots, and mixers. Then, something wonderful happened. My grandmother gifted me a toy kitchen. It felt like magic, as I spent countless hours playing and crafting imaginary bread with my grandma and preparing meals for my dolls.

My parents noticed my deep affection for cooking and when dad stumbled upon an old box brimming with my great-grandmother’s handwritten recipes, he called me in. We began exploring these cool recipes together and it felt like finding a hidden treasure. Those recipes became my secret to cooking.

When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, sadly, I could no longer cook with my grandmother, but my mom came up with a brilliant idea. “Why don’t you cook together via video calls,” she suggested. I felt my spirit lift immediately. Grandma and I made puddings, muffins, and more. We found joy experimenting with all the special recipes my dad and I found.

As my passion for cooking grew, my parents enrolled me in a pastry course for kids the moment the lockdown ended. At home, my mom filmed my cooking experiments, continuing a tradition she started when I was three and would imitate chefs on television. This enjoyable and natural process led us to upload my videos on my now popular Instagram account.

A pastry course for kids to over a half million Instagram followers

I remember embarking on my first major project: creating a beautifully decorated elephant cake. That project ignited an unstoppable journey in cooking and served as a creative outlet for me. I recreate designs from photos and infuse them with my personal touch. My parents remain actively involved in managing my Instagram, engaging comments, and posting videos. Together, we make choices about projects and ingredients collaboratively.

This adventure with cooking wasn’t always a smooth one. At five years old, I endured bullying in kindergarten because I preferred cooking to dancing and singing. My classmates pulled my hair and yanked my chair out from underneath me. It caused significant distress and I nearly abandoned cooking.

Julieta showcases her exceptional pastry creations | Photo courtesy Julieta Garay’s Family

However, seeing my unhappiness, my parents moved me to another school which brought about a positive shift in my life. Kids teased for their interest in cooking began reaching out to me. Having experienced similar challenges, I deeply relate to their feelings. I consistently advise them, “If you love cooking, never let anyone’s words stop you.” This is an important lesson I learned.

My passion for cooking has made me a mini-influencer with 540,000 followers on Instagram. I enjoy creating videos on baking cakes, alfajores, brownies, and cookies.

An exciting opportunity: The Alfajor World Cup Championship

This past August, an exciting opportunity came my way: an invitation to participate in the Alfajor World Cup Championship with my dad as my assistant. I went to the event with my special cooking tools in hand: a rolling pin and a kid-safe plastic knife. I felt like a real chef, knowing I could use my tools to roll, cut, and make pretty decorations!

At the World Cup, I used my great grandma’s alfajor recipe. I stood on a stool to reach the countertop wearing my apron, with my hair in buns and bows. It felt magical! As I worked, the crowd applauded enthusiastically, and their surprising kindness overwhelmed me. The best part, though, was seeing my dad’s happiness and pride. He was so moved that he cried.

Julieta and her father share a memorable moment at the alfajor World Cup | Photo courtesy Julieta Garay’s Family

Decorating and making things look nice remains my favorite part of the process. If something is tricky, I just play around for a bit and try again. When I face challenges, I take a break and come back. It feels exciting to see what I can make with my own hands, but cooking remains just one part of my life. I graduated from kindergarten and moved into the first grade, where math became my favorite subject. I love playing with my dolls, looking after my plants, drawing, and spending time with my pets.

I always feel amazed when people on social media tell me my recipes and ideas inspire them to start a business. It seems hard to believe my hobby has such a big impact on others. It remains important to me, to use my love for cooking to help people. For example, when I saw a little girl making snack bags for kids in need, I jumped in and began baking cakes for them. My heart swells when I know my cakes bring joy to kids I never met.

Translation Disclaimer

Translations provided by Orato World Media are intended to result in the end translated document being understandable in the end language. Although every effort is made to ensure our translations are accurate we cannot guarantee the translation will be without errors.

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