Earlier this spring, my son, Jacob participated in the Share Our Strength event at Kendall College School of Culinary Arts in Chicago. The Healthy Kids Cookoff was a way for children to learn how to prepare and enjoy healthy foods all the while, having fun in this “Iron Chef” type competition.
Basically, each pair of children was matched up with one culinary school student (for guidance.) From there, they were taken into one of three kitchens, with each kitchen having a different “secret ingredient” and celebrity chef instructor. For instance, Jacob and his partner, Marty were taken to the carrot kitchen by Chef Michael Kornick. Just when they decided on making carrot cookies with orange sauce…a surprise was thrown in….ANOTHER secret ingredient had to be grabbed out of a bag. What did they pull? Garlic. Yes, GARLIC. After an initial second of panic, they quickly decided to top each cookie with a fried slice. According to Jacob, “You wouldn’t think it would taste good, but it did!” And that, my friends, would be the point of this fabulous event…to show kids that healthy foods can be good foods!
After a few hours of conversation, cooking, refreshments and visiting the healthy fair booths…the waiting was over. The celebrity judges tasted each of the entries (around 30 in all) and agreed on a winner. Unfortunately, Jacob and Marty’s cookies didn’t win, but we heard they were in the running.
Jacob was a bit nervous going into the cookoff, as he didn’t know what to expect, nor did he already have a cooking partner lined up. As luck would have it, Marty was a very knowledgeable, outgoing young man and the two of them worked perfectly with one another. I’m so proud of them both for giving it their all…and Jacob already can’t wait until next year’s competition! *fist pump…yesssss*
Be sure to check out this video put together by Fooditude, which is all done by kids. Also, big thanks to the celebrity chefs, Michael Kornick (DMK Burger Bar), Mario Rizzotti (Academia Barilla & Iron Chef America Judge) and Celina Tio (Top Chef) for showing our children the importance of healthy foods.