Kid Chefs take over SOBE

The little chefs making humus

My apologies, these past couple of weeks have taken their toll on me, and I had to catch up on my school work and sleep. Here is bit of an overdue post that I would really like to share with you.

I wouldn’t consider myself a “host” (like of a show), but after last weekend I may have to reconsider that. Its been more then half a year (give or take a few months) since I announced my participation in the 2011 SoBe (South Beach) Wine & Food Festival. I was asked to Host/MC the “Food Labs” at this years “Fun & Fit as a Family” (the kids portion and most popular event of the festival). The Food Labs are where kids (ages 2-17) get to cook with celebrity chefs one-on-one  (how cool is that). The event is held at Miami’s Jungle Island, which is host to a wide variety of exotic birds, monkeys and more! This is the same venue where I interviewed Food Network stars like, Paula Dean, Marcella Valladolid, and Guy Fieri! Chefs attending this years Food Lab’s (Saturday & Sunday) included Iron Chef Cat Cora, Jamie Oliver, Food Network stars Melissa d’Arabian, Marcella Valladolid and Celebrity Chefs Adrianne Calvo and Michelle Bernstein.



.....and after!

 I would have never of guessed how much work and how many people an event like this requires. I had the opportunity to work alongside some incredibly talented student volunteers and professionals who made everything possible. The days leading up to the event were filled with construction workers, boxes of cooking equipment, and little time to spare. Luckily Chef Vivian Lebierman (who is  the Dean at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary school in Miami) directed us. Richard Cifuentes who is a former Dean at Le Cordon Bleu and Chef Erica Davis who is a pastry chef and was actually a contestant on Top Chef: Just Dessert’s rounded out the culinary professionals leading the crew. We organized and took inventory of all the product the sponsors had donated. Anolon pots and pans, Good Grip colanders, Breville grills and blenders. A makeshift kitchen was set up with wood cabinets, granite counter tops, and state of the art appliances. Tables were prepared with cooking utensils, bowls, jars, cups etc.

Standing room only

Saturday began bright and early at Jungle Island with Iron Chef Cat Cora. The room started to fill in with parents in the back and the kids sitting at the various tables in the front. Cat made Savory Chicken/Veggie Pancakes w/ Maple Syrup. Jamie Oliver arrived next to make “the worlds longest sheet of pasta” which wrapped around the kitchen counter and flowed into the crowd held by an uncountable number of kids. Finally, Next Food Network Star Melissa D’Arabian made Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies.

Talking to the audience

Jeremy & Iron Chef Cat Cora

Jamie Oliver's Worlds longest pasta

Jeremy & Jamie Oliver

Jeremy Cooking

Jeremy & Next Food Network Star Melissa d'Arabian
As day one came to a simmer day 2 began with the Mexican heat of Marcella Valladolid. You might know Marcella from her Food Network Show Mexican Made Easy and I also had the chance to interview her at last years Festival. Marcella made Roasted Chicken and Cheese Burritos that had every kid stuffing and rolling. Our next chef was Adrianne Calvo who made 4 types of hummus and Pad Thai with an amazing peanut sauce and a medley of vegetables. The last day ended off with the sweetest Chef, Michelle Bernstein (who I also interviewed). She prepared Chicken Meatballs and Rice Pudding Crème Brule.

Jeremy and Chef Marcella Valladolid

The creative plating of a future chef

One of the little chefs and his berries
Jeremy and Chef Adrianne Calvo

Jeremy and Chef Calvo answering questions
Jeremy and Chef Michelle Bernstein

Jeremy and the "tiniest" Chef

Jeremy, Chef Michelle and Kid Chefs
It was sad to say goodbye to the incredible staff whom I made friends with and it was especially hard to say farewell to each group of kids because they were all so knowledgeable and fun to cook with. I have to thank Alex Saludes, Ashley Shapiro and event founder and coordinator Lee Schrager for giving me this incredible opportunity.

The CREW that made it all happen

Celebrity Chef Art Smith stopped by to visit

Jeremy & SoBe-Fest founder Lee Schrager

Keep on Cooking!

1 comment:

  1. this post is very interesting post....
    Thanks for your sharing.......