Emeril's Top Tips for Kids in the Kitchen

My friends! I'm so happy to see so many of you cooking these days. You know why? Because cooking is really fun, fun, fun, and it makes people happy, happy, happy!

When I was a little boy, I used to watch my mom, Miss Hilda, cook. I saw how people loved to come to our house to eat her food, and I decided cooking was something I wanted to be able to do, too. I watched everything she did, and she let me help in the kitchen. Little by little, I began cooking by myself. I started with simple stuff, like vegetable soup and French toast. At first, things like chopping and whisking were kind of hard. My chopped veggies were all different sizes and my whisked sauces were all over the floor! But hey -- I kept on, and the more I did these things, the better I got. When I was a teenager I got my first job -- in a bakery. I learned how to make things like pizza and pretzels and, boy, was I making people happy with those! The more I cooked, the happier people got. Best of all, I was enjoying myself doing it. Now you know why I decided to become a chef.

I really had no idea how many friends I would make just by cooking -- friends like you. I also had no idea at first how many kids wanted to cook for themselves, but I soon found out. So, not too long ago, I said to myself, "Self, why not write a special cookbook for all of my young friends and fans out there?" So here it is! There's a Chef in My Soup! was written with you in mind.

It has the kind of foods that kids of all ages can make and enjoy eating

-- My-Oh-My Spaghetti Pie and Shake-It-Up-a-Notch Chicken! There are some really easy recipes for beginners. For those of you with more experience, there are some tougher recipes, too. There are lots of recipes to choose from -- seventy-five in all -- pick the ones that sound good to you! But before you start cooking, do me a favor and remember the following things:

Ask Permission!
Remember to ask your parents' permission before you begin to cook. Hey, why not let them be your helper in the kitchen? You will learn things together, and the best part is this: At the end, you will have something yummy to enjoy together as a family.

Be Safe! Before getting started, make sure you read about how to be safe in the kitchen. (will include link to kitchen safety piece) This is really important!

Be Prepared! Cook like the pros do. Read through the recipe you want to make and look up any words or techniques you don't know. And gather together everything you need -- both ingredients and tools -- before you start cooking. It makes cooking a snap.

Be Clean! Cleaning is a big part of cooking. Your food needs to be safe and healthy and, if you clean as you go along, when you're ready to sit down and enjoy what you've cooked, you won't have mountains of dishes to worry about.

Have Fun! Most of all, remember to enjoy your time in the kitchen and learn to do things your way. Experiment and make changes that work for you.

So, let's go -- get in the kitchen and get cooking! Have fun, be careful, experiment, and share your creations with your family and friends. And remember, it's a "food of love" thing ...



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