After watching “Ratatouille,” four-year-old Sabby Clemmons ’22 hatched a plan: she woke up early, closed her parents’ bedroom door, and made her first ever pancake using a recipe from a cookbook her mom gave her. Afterwards, she sprayed Febreze all over the house to cover her tracks. Although she did get banned from the kitchen for a month, Clemmons has retained her passion for baking and experimenting in the kitchen.
“I consider myself a little bit spontaneous. So in terms of planning out baking, I often don’t really plan it, and sometimes that works out for me while sometimes it doesn’t. It leads to a lot of running around and quick thinking,” said Clemmons.
In addition to being intrigued by the molecular science of baking, Clemmons utilizes baking as a form of self-expression. From making countless desserts for her mom’s catering company to getting a callback for Kids Baking Championship, Clemmons notes how the creativity involved in baking motivates her to try new concoctions.
“I really like the art of just making something. I consider baking my own artform. I really can’t draw or play any type of music, but for me, I really like merging different flavors together and experimenting,” said Clemmons.
At Andover, Clemmon’s house counselor, Vivien Mallick, Director of Admissions, allows Clemmons to bake in her kitchen. After spending a year observing Clemmons bake and tasting her creations, Mallick admires her quick thinking and technique.
“What’s really cool is she has no mistakes. She can turn a mistake into something else, which is really cool. She doesn’t scrap it if something goes wrong, she just fixes it, which I think is a good way to live your life,” said Mallick.
Clemmons had numerous creations at Andover such as a unicorn birthday cake for Mallick’s daughter, or a dorm cake featuring everybody’s names. Kennedy Ndiaye ’22, a friend and roommate of Clemmons, shares that she has learned a lot from Clemmons, including how to whip meringue and make crepes.
“The details in her cakes—they’re so specific—I love that. I think it shines through in her creativity. She’s always creating a design that I’ve never heard of or that we’ve never seen anyone make, and relating it to her life,” said Ndiaye.
From the influence of her Andover peers, Clemmons has been stepping out of her baking comfort zone by cooking savory meals and diversifying her cuisine. She is excited to start a cooking interest club with her friend Nolan Goldthwaite ’22.
“[Goldthwaite] and I are actually starting a club this year called PA Palettes and it’s very exciting. It’s not like Andover Baking Club. It’s more like we’re discussing the food history of a certain dish, how to cook it, stuff like that,” said Clemmons.