TAMPA, Fla. — LaShannon wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. But after an unforgettable week of culinary awesomeness at Tampa's Epicurean Hotel, the 12-year-old might amend her life plans.
"I can be a chef as a side job!" she said.
For four days this week in the Epicurean's culinary theatre, LaShannon and dozens of other future chefs in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay are learning how to cook from the best of the best.
Day one's tutorial from Chef Fern Pizarro: making a Western omelet, from cracking the eggs to flipping it in the pan.
Yes, there were a lot of oddly-shaped omelets flying all over the place. But there were a lot of proud smiles, too.
The event is being hosted by Where Love Grows, a local nonprofit aimed at helping end hunger for children and families in Tampa Bay.
Where Love Grows founder, and force of nature, Vicki Anzalone wants kids to feel confident in the kitchen and know they too can make nutritious delicious meals.
"Cooking can be very intimidating if you don't know what you're doing," said Anzalone. "This is about getting these kids feeling confident in the kitchen and learning to eat healthy, with fruits and vegetables."