Kid Kulinaire, the real story
In 2003, I moved to Ohio and began reviving a local restaurant. Shortly after moving here, my brother called me - he had just become a single parent, his son was just turning six. My brother was suddenly faced with cooking for his son on his own. He had always been into healthy eating, but had not done much cooking from scratch.
His son's birthday was soon and he wanted to make him a birthday cake from scratch. His only comment to me was, "I want to make a cake from scratch for Wade and do not want buttercream icing, because it was not healthy." Because of his lack of cooking skills, I wanted to test him to make sure he was serious, so I tried to scare him out of doing this with some cooking questions.
I began to explain to him that there are three methods to make a cake. At the end of the conversation he simply stated, just pick one and tell me what to do. We then had three-one hour phone calls. The first call was teaching him how to bake the cake. The second call was teaching him how to make the icing. The third call was teaching him how to decorate the cake. His goal was to make a dinosaur cake for his son!
To my surprise, I received a picture of the completed cake with his son. I was blown away! It looked better than many I had seen by some professionals and many purchased in supermarkets. The detail and the love that went into the cake was clearly shown. It was that love and passion, with my guidance over the phone, that created this cake.
I sent my brother and his son, chef coats so they could cook together in the kitchen. This interaction is how the concept of Kid Kulinaire was born. If I could teach my brother over the phone how to bake a cake, then I could teach others to do the same.
A couple weeks later, my restaurant entered me into a cooking competition, in which a news reporter, Roger McCoy from Channel 10 news was covering the event and his wife was on the judging panel. I placed second in the competition, but Roger's wife thought I have should have placed first. After his interview with me, he discovered that I was at a local restaurant and stopped over for dinner with his family. They shared with me how much their daughter, Marion (10 yrs old), wanted to learn how to cook. Soon after, Marion started to come over and train with me. This is how the cooking program developed for Kid Kulinaire.
I quickly learned that all parents needed support on how to teach healthy cooking skills to their children. This lead to our first test pilot at the McCoy home. We also did more filming at COSI.
In an effort to propel Kid Kulinaire forward, I started taking acting lessons to understand the business and working with COSI and their food service program to keep the project going. Immediately, I was inspired by all the children, which continually fueled the passion for Kid Kulinaire. Through working with COSI and their multiple projects, I met Owen Ratliff, (Ratti Entertainment / Black Salt Film) who has been instrumental in furthering the project, through collaborative efforts on the Save Our Kids Through Martial Arts Program.