So with the explosion of Foodie channels, sites, and celebrities, is there any more room for something unique and creative? The answer to that is yes and it comes from the most unlikely place… Kids. Kid chefs have been an unexpected result of the Foodie revolution and the coolest Kid chef I know of is Kid Chef Eliana.
Rarely do we get to meet the authors of books and even rarer to meet their family, but I was lucky to have done both. At the famous French Market, I luckily ran into Kid Chef Eliana plus her parents. From this and future fun meetings, I was able to learn that for them it’s truly about family…a Foodie family. Chef Eliana comes from a line of Foodies with a diverse heritage of Cuban, Philippines, Honduran, and Cajun roots. Cooking has always been central to the family and it’s no wonder Eliana gained an interest in the culinary arts. Her mom, Dianne de Las Casas, is an accomplished author of fantastic children’s books and her sister, Soleil, is a gifted illustrator who also provides artwork for the books. Finally, Dad is always there to cook up awesome pizza!
Cool Creative Cook
Cool Kids Cook might have had kids in mind, but the authentic, simple recipes can be enjoyed by all ages. Starting with the main dishes, you can find your favorite Cajun dishes such as jambalaya, shrimp etouffee, and chicken gumbo. Moving over to other sections are the side dishes and desserts where you’ll discover tasty recipes for boudin and sweet king cake. Overall, there are about 60 recipes and although most are what locals are familiar with, Kid Chef Eliana spices it up with her own creative touches. One being pastalaya which is similar to jambalaya, but it uses pasta instead of rice which takes less time and makes larger portions. Another is Maque Choux(pronounced MOCK shoo in book) which originated from Native Americans and is a corn dish mixed with butter, tomatoes, and green peppers. Cool Kids Cook is laid out in a simple yet delightful style with interesting Chef Notes(Fun Facts), colorful cartoon illustrations, and a helpful glossary to get you cooking quick.
In New Orleans, food is essential to culture and living so it’s always a honor to meet the chefs behind the dishes…especially the Cool ones!
Photos by: NOLA4ever