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Chefs Mario and Alex consult about their dish. Courtesy photo.




Foodworks Mini Iron Chef: Breakfast Edition

When: Sunday, Jan. 18, 1 to 2 p.m. (ages 4-7) 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. (ages 8-12)
Where: Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, 6 Washington St., Dover
Tickets: $10 members, $20 non-members for adult/child pair. Includes museum admission.
Contact: See childrens-museum.org or call 742-2002 to register.




Chop till you drop
Mini chefs take on a full-sized challenge

01/15/15
By Allie Ginwala aginwala@hippopress.com



Boys and girls, start your ovens and sharpen your knives. The next generation of master chefs is taking over the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 1 and 3:30 p.m. for the fifth Foodworks: Mini Iron Chef competition, sponsored by Hannaford Supermarket.

Part of Foodworks, a series that promotes fun and healthy eating habits, this year’s competition will feature the first breakfast edition, in which the young chefs and their parent or grandparent sous chefs must create a tasty breakfast dish to wow a panel of judges.
According to Zach Foote, museum visitor services supervisor and media producer, the breakfast-themed competition came about when museum staff realized that regardless of previous themes (such as school lunch or pizza), at least one group always prepared a breakfast food. 
“We figured this time, let’s make the whole theme breakfast,” Foote said in a phone interview.
Leading up to the competition, each team is given a list of ingredients to choose from. 
“We send this out to them in advance so they can brainstorm some possible recipes,” Heidi Duncanson, museum director of marketing and community relations, wrote in an email. 
Cream cheese, tortilla wraps, turkey bacon and cilantro are just a few of the options available this year. 
To toss a twist into the competition, on the day of Mini Iron Chef, a mystery item will be revealed and every team must use it in their dish. The mystery item could be anything, Foote said, but probably won’t be too crazy. 
“We’re pretty kind; we’re not going to have it be chili powder or spicy pickles,” he said. 
Since most teams come to the competition with a recipe in mind, they’ll get to incorporate the mystery item on the fly. 
While the museum will provide small appliances and cooking and baking equipment, Duncanson noted that some families bring in their own must-have items, like knives and mixers. That way they can make sure they have exactly what they need at every moment.
The competition will be divided into two sessions: one for kids ages 4 to 7 and another for kids ages 8 to 12. 
“We’ve had a pretty good variety of ages,” Foote said. “The parents have been really great about knowing when to step back and let the children take over.” 
Many of the kids who participate in Mini Iron Chef want to be chefs when they grow up and are excited to be part of a competition similar to their favorite cooking shows. 
“They talk about how they’ve been practicing their knife skills,” Foote said. “Some of them take it very seriously; you can tell that they’ve been cooking at home.”
The judges panel will be made up of Hannaford representatives as well as local chefs and food critics. While this is a competition, Foote said, there are many categories in which the little chefs can win, so everyone goes home a winner.
 
As seen in the January 15, 2015 issue.





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