By Matthew Smith, CIP Long Beach staff
Anyone who knows Merritt knows he loves movies and cooking. After getting to know Merritt these past three months, I’ve also learned that he bursts with creativity but gets frustrated because he can’t always express himself the way he wants to. Enter YouTube and Mr. Wilson’s Amazing Meals, episode 1.
Mr. Wilson’s Amazing Meals, Merritt’s YouTube cooking show, premiered December 8th. It features recipes for making eggnog and holiday salad. His video has been well-received thus far receiving over 200 views in a week for the original video. I first approached Merritt about making the video after I had tasted his cooking for the first time at the CIP Parent’s Weekend in Long Beach. Merritt had a full platter of caramels, chocolates, and toffee. His confections tasted so well that I asked him about the recipe.
I was kind of taken aback at how good Merritt’s cooking was. I hadn’t tasted candy that good in a long time. His caramels stole the show. Knowing that Merritt has a passion for directing movies, my first thought was we needed to give him the best chance to showcase his talents. I discussed the idea of him putting his past videos on YouTube as well as creating his own channel. He quickly jumped on board once I told him how YouTube works. He especially seemed excited to have the chance to interact with people that place comments on his YouTube page.
Not only is Merritt’s YouTube channel helpful for those wanting to learn new recipes, but it also helps Merritt as his social skills continue to evolve. Watching himself on camera as well as hearing his voice allows Merritt to get better at eye contact and public speaking, two goals that Merritt indicated he wanted improvement on. The comments that Merritt receives, all positive, allow Merritt to receive positive feedback from peers, other aspiring cookers, and directors alike. As the show continues to evolve, it provides many social thinking topics for Merritt and I to go over in our individual sessions.
Merritt’s next episode will continue dishing out holiday recipes. Episode 2 features Merritt teaching viewers how to cook home-made candy canes. Viewers will also be treated to Merritt going into the secretive history of why the candy cane is given to millions of children during the Holidays. If you would like to stay up to date and receive an email whenever Merritt posts a new video, consider subscribing to his YouTube channel. To do so, click “subscribe” when viewing his YouTube channel. Be sure to also check out the newest episode about candy canes. Bon Appétit!