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By Pat McGonigle

KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KSDK) - Ten-year-old Elliott Notrica wasn't exactly born in a kitchen, but it's easy to get that idea when you're around him. Elliott says he's felt compelled to cook since he was about two years old.

"I started reaching for knives, and lurching for knives and wanting to get a hold of the knives. And finally, my mom put her foot down and said, 'Well, if you're so interested in knives, let's learn how to use them right.'"

Not only does Elliott display an expert's knowledge of cutlery but his ability to come up with recipes and demonstrate cooking concepts with quick wit, flair, and showmanship makes you wonder how a ten-year-old is able to pull it all off.

Elliott routinely drops words like "iconic" and "quintessential" with the ease of an English professor.

"Interestingly enough, I've been doing some cheese tasting lately," Elliott answers when asked about provel cheese.

Ask Elliott anything: Whether or not PAM is okay, or his preference for cooking oil.

"I highly love extra virgin coconut oil," Elliot says. "It's derived 100% from the coconut plant and by that you're taking away all the stuff that people don't like about your oil."

When he was born, Elliott's parents operated a fine dining restaurant in Georgia. Sadly, Elliott's father passed away when he was a baby. But it's plain to see the father's passion for cuisine is alive and well in his son.

"It's really creative, I get to do a lot of fun stuff and I have a really...'being creative' mind. And everyone tells me that, by the way," he says.

Elliott's family benefited from Annie's Hope, a non-profit agency that helps children cope with the loss of a loved one.

These days, Elliott's returning the favor by serving as a guest chef at Jersey Mike's in Webster Groves, a local business that supports Annie's Hope.

"And that's the moral of the story here," Elliott says with a dramatic flourish. "I love cooking!"

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