A glorious tangle of kids of all ages descended upon the Children’s Museum of Manhattan on March 15th, to learn how to cook fun foods from Mexico. They cuddled up eagerly on the floor together in front of a long table full of goodies, courtesy of Whole Foods and fidgeted excitedly. “I’ve been to Mexico!” one child chirped as Chef Cricket Azima, food editor of hot kid mag Kiwi, founder of The Creative Kitchen and author of the highly anticipated children’s cookbook “Everybody Eats Lunch” introduced the day’s special cuisine. Chef Cricket led the kids in a rousing demonstration of (gasp!) Whole Wheat Tortilla making, using the good old George Foreman Grill (an absolute MUST in a healthy kitchen and very kid-friendly) and a recipe courtesy of Chef David Leathers. After the intro, the kids made their way to several tables where students from the French Culinary Institute as well as other culinary professionals helped them create Dinner Impossible Chef Robert Irvine’s Super Salsa (ketchup-friendly mind you), and Holy Guacamole. I can say from personal experience, that the tortillas were a huge success. Everyone wanted to get their little hands dirty. “Squish squish squish,” I instructed a rapt Reeves and Dylan, “is how you KNEAD the dough.” All the kids had a grand time squishing the dough in their hands and on the table, nutritious whole-wheat flour flying. The day soon proved this old adage (that I just made up right now): If you make it, you’ll eat it. Reeves dashed off to find his parents so he could proudly give them a taste of what he had done. Allison, Haley and Reeves Fisackerly were visiting from Jackson, Mississippi, founder Chef Cat Cora’s very own hometown. They were thrilled when they stumbled upon the class. “I thought it was great. Cricket was great with the kids. If I would have brought home whole wheat tortillas, he never would have touched them,” commented Haley. Reeves, 5 ¾, is no stranger to cooking. “I’ve cooked pizza with cheese and pepperoni. Also mushrooms and spinach,” he remarked casually.The salsa and guac stations were just as successful. Juicy mangos, tomatoes, crispy limes and even Serrano chilies were all chopped and prepared by the children, with the help of cheerful, super-safe plastic knives. Iyanna Brown tried her hand at Holy Guacamole. “I chopped up avocados, tomatoes and garlic!” She and her Aunt Valerie and cousin Maxine come every Saturday to the Children’s Museum. “I LOVED this event! We will definitely be back,” said Valerie. Muchos gracias to Chef Cricket for teaching with such pizzazz, the fabulous Whole Foods for donating all ingredients, and the volunteers that gave their time and incredible energy to make this event a smash and a wonderful beginning to a very exciting new program. Nice work guys!
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