Behind every great meal is a great story.
Last Sunday, 26 young chefs shared their signature recipes and the stories behind them at the second annual Kid Food Nation gala.
Hosted by YTV’s Carlos Bustamante, this year’s gala took place at the Fairmount Château Laurier in Ottawa. Gathering at the nation’s capital, the winners of the Kid Food Nation recipe contest flew in from all across Canada.
From Baked Arctic Char in Iqaluit, to Jamaican Chicken Soup in Toronto, and Garlic Moose Melt in Newfoundland & Labrador, the gala’s menu of recipes also served as an exhibition for Canada’s cultural mosaic.
“Not too spicy, not too sweet.”
Kid Food Nation winner Chaitanya’s Aloo Gobi is the tasty result of generations of family cooking. An Indian dish made from potatoes, cauliflower, and traditional south Asian spices, Chaitanya’s prize-winning recipe is also the story of Canada’s wave of immigration that shaped the country we know today.
“It’s traditional,” said Chaitanya, a Boys and Girls Club member from Edmonton. “My mom makes it, my aunts used to make it in India, so when I saw my mom making it, I was like, ‘I want to try this.'”
Aptly named, Kid Food Nation is a cross-Canada movement that teaches kids cooking skills and promotes healthy habits.
Engaging youth in the culture of food also connects them to their own heritage.
“I am of Chilean origin,” said Mirko, a contest winner from Québec, when asked about his Tacorrito recipe. “I love the food of Latin America. I have always had a passion for tacos, but also for burritos.”
“One day, my dad and I had a genius idea of mixing the two dishes. The result is delicious, easy to make, and very popular in my family!”
Set for a November release, the 26 winning meals will be showcased in the Kid Food Nation cookbook.