Beet’s Treats: 10-year-old culinary busker serves up funnel cakes in LaPlace

Published 3:38 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2022

LAPLACE — Known to customers by her kitchen nickname “Beets,” 10-year-old Addilyn Donaldson of Reserve has a newfound talent for frying gourmet funnel cakes to perfection.

When she’s not attending school at John L. Ory Elementary, Beets can be found on Saturday afternoons preparing desserts inside the Teaufood Culinary Busking tent across from Airline Motors in LaPlace.

Her special funnel cake flavors include original, double chocolate decadence, king cake and chocolate-covered strawberry. She’s working on perfecting a unicorn funnel cake and plans to expand her dessert offerings in the near future.

Beets earned her first chef’s coat from culinary busker Teau Frederic on February 26. After three weeks of preparation in the outdoor kitchen at 801 Mallard St. in LaPlace, Beets stepped up to the plate for her first “Beet’s Treats” food service and fulfilled 12 funnel cake orders. In true culinary busking fashion, the food was free to the public, and she ended the night with $64 dollars’ worth of tips in her pocket.

Teau believes strongly in encouraging children to explore their interests in a meaningful and magical way. Over the past month, Beets has been an exceptionally hard worker and a true blessing to Teaufood Culinary Busking.

“She worked so hard in preparation for this. She really stepped up and has taken every challenge head on,” Teau said.

“Beet’s Treats” came about after Addilyn and her mother, Jessica, stopped by Teau Frederic’s outdoor kitchen earlier this year. Jessica Donaldson had the opportunity to reconnect with her influential third grade teacher, Teau’s mother, MaryAnn Frederic.

While the former student and teacher had their reunion, Addilyn stayed near the kitchen and looked up at Teau with curious eyes.

Noticing the little girl’s curiosity, Teau asked, “Have you ever made a funnel cake?”

“No,” Addilyn said, her voice quiet and shy.

“Do you want to learn?” Teau asked.

“Sure,” Addilyn answered.

The first funnel cake she poured blew Teau away with its gorgeous shape and consistency. It was clear Addilyn had a talent.

She quickly earned the nickname “Beets” as a nod to “Beats by Dr. Dre.”

“Everybody kind of has their kitchen nickname,” Teau explained.

Beets enjoys learning from Teau, and she said becoming a culinary busker has taught her “to not give up when things don’t work out.”

One of her greatest challenges thus far was learning how to create purple sugar for Mardi Gras funnel cakes. She’s also learned 10 ways not to make a unicorn funnel cake through trial and error, but she’s determined to keep working to get the new recipe right.

Jessica Donaldson is proud of her daughter’s hard work and dedication.

“She’s able to see the reward of all her hard work. It’s been a great outlet for her,” Donaldson said.

According to Donaldson, “Beet’s Treats” has also been an outlet for healing. Addilyn lost her grandmother, Charlene Weber, in December 2021. Her grandmother was a baker, and Addilyn knows she is smiling down on her every time she steps into the kitchen.