Monthly Archives: November 2013

Should Kids Cook?

Friday, November 8th, 2013

I recently read an article regarding kids in the kitchen. It seems some people have a concern for kids being in a cooking competition or to be using a knife or burner. Some have expressed its not only dangerous physically but also psychologically that the stress of competition is too much (they should watch a pee wee hockey game). Some have even said that kids should NOT be allowed in the kitchen at all. Here’s my take:
Although I am only 13 years old being in the kitchen comes naturally for me. The one place I have 100% confidence in myself is the kitchen. My opinion of my kitchen (or any kitchen for that matter) is that it should be a sanctuary. Of course it can be stressful and chaotic, especially when you are being timed, critiqued and in front of many people, but many things in life come with pressure. In the kitchen I, for the most part, am in control. Yes, I make mistakes and it can be frustrating (my dad and I once canned 20 pints of eggplants only to find out a month later that we added too much salt and they were inedible) but these mistakes are which help me grow. I realize that in order for me to better my skills I have to push myself and it’s in the kitchen where I do so comfortably. Regardless of the outcome I welcome the challenge. This has certainly helped me in all areas of my life but it all started in the kitchen.
Should I be in the kitchen? Did being on Rachael vs. Guy burn me out to the point I can’t stand to cook? Since being on the show I have attended cooking camp, have prepared over 200 desserts for a charity event (the table next to mine was the Cake Boss, how cool?), made 25 quarts of venison chili for another charity event for a food shelter and have helped my Dad clean, process and package over 400 pounds of wild game and fish. Oh, and I also have used this harvest, along with our own vegetables, to prepare healthy, sustainable, locally derived dishes and have had FUN every step of the way. Maybe its because I didn’t view the show as a competition but as fun and a tremendous learning experience. Was I frustrated at points, yes…..should I be in the kitchen? Try and take me out.