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What's Up Magazine

Kids in the Kitchen at Whole Foods

Apr 11, 2011 07:24PM ● By Anonymous

And lucky me, I was asked to be a judge at this event, which took place on Saturday. The whole event took pages straight from Food Network's Iron Chef and was very entertaining to watch. A group of children were bussed in from Georgetown and Germantown Elementary Schools, and divided into four teams of three. Each team was then paired with a local chef (Middletown, Chart House, O'Brien's, and Whole Foods chefs took charge of the teams). 

Each team was given a $100 gift card to Whole Foods and tasked with creating an appetizer, entrée, and dessert in one hour. Just before they began, the secret ingredient was revealed: lemons. The ingredient had to be used in each dish. 

Each team started by brainstorming their menu. They had 30 minutes to decide what they were going to make. 


Next, each team had 30 minutes to shop and $100 to spend. They perused Whole Foods' fresh produce section and made their way up and down the aisles of the crowded store.

Then it was time to get in the kitchen! They had one hour to make their dishes, and the kids were hands on, chopping vegetables, sauteeing chicken and shrimp, and plating food, just like expert chefs. 

Yours truly on the left judged the competition with Jennie Ewing of Whole Foods and Ann Scotton of WRNR Radio. By the end of the hour, we were salivating from the great smells and anticipation!

And as we tasted and judged the dishes, we were definitely spoiled for choices. The winning chef-testants (to steal a phrase from Top Chef) earned a pass to Whole Foods' cooking camp, so it definitely made it hard to choose who was the winner. It was hard to take just a bite or two from each dish so we wouldn't fill up!

Here's the competing dishes:

Team one: Lemon-Tomato-Basil bruschetta (appetizer), Lemon chicken with roasted potatoes and salad (entree), and fruit pizza with lemon cream cheese (dessert)

Team two: Chilled Shrimp Cocktail with lemon squeezes (appetizer), veggie pizzas on whole-wheat bagels (entree), and berry parfait (dessert)

Team three: Salad with lemon vinaigrette and twisted breadsticks (appetizer), macaroni and cheese with a lemon cheese sauce and chicken and asparagus (entree), and puff pastry topped with fruit and lemon ice cream (dessert)

Team four: Shrimp Scampi with a lemon butter sauce (appetizer), lemon cod with crispy spinach and vegetables (entree), fruit tart (dessert)

It was a tough, tough choice, but the amazing lemon cod we were served by team four brought them in for the win. Headed by the chef from O'Briens, team four won the whole she-bang. 

Great thanks to the Junior League and Whole Foods for allowing me to participate -- I'm looking forward to future meals from these creative kids when they grow up and become full-fledged chefs!