It's My Life PBS Kids Go!
Meet the "Kids Who Love To Cook"

By It's My Life on March 9, 2012 1:04 PM | No TrackBacks

Recently, we were excited to discover Kids Who Love To Cook, a website and cooking series that takes you into the kitchen with seven real-life kids to show their love of food and to help make cooking exciting for other kids, tweens, and teens, through videos, recipes, tips and advice, food adventures, and contests. Since we're always looking for ways to give IML'ers more Food Smarts, we asked two of the "Kids," 13-year-old Abby and 15-year-old Isabelle, to share a little more about themselves and this very cool project.

IML: Do you remember how you first got interested in cooking?

kidswholovetocook_isabelle.jpgIsabelle: The first time I visited my grandma in Vienna, I fell in love with the pastries there and I wanted to learn how to make them, so I started baking. I was 10 or 11. And my dad is the biggest foodie! He's a walking, multi-city Zagat Guide -- he can tell you where to go if you want to eat a certain type of food or cuisine. My dad's a great cook and I must have gotten it from him.
kidswholovetocook_abby.jpgAbby: My dad is Italian and at my grandma's house, they always have big feasts where cooking and eating is an all-day event. I also remember cooking with my dad when I was 5 or 6, I was his little assistant. On my mom's side, she cooked a lot of meals when I was growing up. She was a working mom in the city but she's the type to whip up cream for the apple pie. She didn't like to use canned whipped cream! I love her chocolate pudding, beef stew, and her super-delicious version of General Tso's chicken. Eating all that good food made me interested in cooking.

IML: What was the first dish you made that you were really proud of?

Isabelle: Chocolate Cake! I've been making it since I was 11 and I can make it it with my eyes closed.

Abby: Pancakes from scratch.

IML: Where do you find your favorite recipes?

Isabelle: Online, magazines, and sometimes I watch TV shows and get inspired to cook.

Abby: I like books. I love going to bookstores and I can spend hours in the cookbook section. I also love vintage cookbooks, and I'm starting a collection.

IML: Why do you think it's important for families to cook together?

Isabelle: Cooking is a great way to bond, and then you get to eat together, which is so relaxing and fun. I also get to boss my brothers, because it's usually the other way around!

Abby: Life is so busy for everyone. Cooking with my mom or dad is my alone time with them. We catch up, gossip, joke, and laugh a lot.
IML: What's the best thing about making a recipe that's part of a family tradition or culture?

Isabelle: I love the fact that the food we have on the table are family recipes. I feel that I am still connected to the past, to my grandparents, even if they are not in New York.

Abby: It's part of my identity, and a great way to continue family traditions. When I have my own family I can tell my kids, "My mom used to make this chocolate pudding when I was your age." They are beautiful memories and I still feel my mom's love.

IML: What's your favorite quick snack to make when you don't have a lot of time or energy?

Isabelle: I love yogurt with granola.

Abby: Insalata Caprese -- I slice a tomato, some mozzarella, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper, and if we've got basil I add it too. We usually have tomatoes and mozzarella at home so that's my regular afternoon snack when I come home from school.  Or I put it inside a baguette and make a sandwich of it. I like to eat grapes and cheese too. I love cheese.

IML: What's your advice for young people who want to learn how to cook, but it may be more challenging for them -- like maybe an adult isn't always available to help or they just don't have the time, or it's too hard to get ingredients and tools?

Isabelle & Abby: Watch and learn from videos or cooking shows on TV! Start with simple dishes like Mini Turkey Burgers or Fettuccine Alfredo -- recipes with ingredients that are easily available at the supermarket.

IML: What's the coolest thing you've learned or experienced as part of being on the Kids Who Love To Cook team?

Isabelle: I used to be in a hurry to grow up and turn 16. Now I feel so much more mature, so there's no hurry. I also overcame my dislike of tomatoes (because of a sour tomato incident when I was a kid). I got to taste the most delicious yellow cherry tomatoes from Maine and now I love them!

Abby: Going places -- from Vermont to learn how to make cheese and maple syrup to an urban bee farm in Brooklyn. We go to a lot of interesting places and I get to taste all kinds of food!

You can visit Abby and Isabelle, along with the other awesome Kids Who Love To Cook, at

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