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Cooking for kids

They haven't even entered their teens but sisters Isabella and Olivia Gerasole are already having an impact on the culinary talents and tastes of children.

by: Patricia Reaney | 10 Sep 2007

The duo from Chicago are the youngest winners of the James Beard Award for their webcast on their Web site which teaches children how to cook and eat well. The site gets more than a million hits per month.

Isabella, 11, and Olivia, 9, have also just written "The Spatulatta Cookbook" with recipes for kids and by kids. And although they are already back at school, the sisters have begun work on a television series that is due to premiere next year.

Here's what they had to say about cooking for family and friends and why children should be eat healthy food:

Q: Who taught you how to cook?
Olivia: "My father. He is a fantastic cook."
Isabella: "We started out with basic things like Christmas cookies and then went to pasta and making pasta from scratch for parties."

Q: Where did the idea for the book come from?
Olivia: "We thought it would be a good idea so people could learn more about I think it is really neat and a great experience."

Q: Why do you think it is so important that children know how to cook?
Olivia: "I think kids should know how to cook because I know it sounds like a chore but it isn't. It is an art and it brings people together, especially families. It is a great way to express yourself and be creative."

Q: Were did all the recipes in the book come from? Did you make them up yourselves?
Olivia: "Most of the recipes are from and a couple are passed down from our family, and some were just made up. People can email and send in recipes. If they think they have a recipe, like for example blueberry pancakes, that they think is really good, we will take a look at it, try it and sometimes put it on the site."

Q: Where did the title 'spatulatta' come from?
Olivia: "It is just a nonsense kitchen word. We were brainstorming on all of these ideas but they were all taken. So we just thought of spatulatta, which was a good idea."

Q: Apart from your dad, are there other chefs that you admire.
Olivia: "I really like Giada De Laurentiis and I like Rachael Ray."
Isabella: "Some of my favourite chefs who are very talented are Rachael Ray, Mario Batali and Giada De Laurentiis."

Q: Do you want to be a professional chef when you grow up?
Olivia: "I don't think we do. I'll just cook for fun."
Isabella: "I would just like to cook for family and friends."

Q: What advice would you give to other children who prefer fast food and think cooking is too difficult?
Olivia: "There are so many healthy things for you that taste really good." Isabella: "Cooking is not a chore. It is a very important thing to know how to do. It makes for a well rounded person and it can be fun to get some friends over to make some food."

- None


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