Friday, January 20, 2012

Bryant Park Blog Q&A with Chef Jehangir Mehta

The Kids Food Festival brings healthy, fun food to the park and Citi Pond this weekend with a two day fest celebrating the aspiring chefs in your household. Chefs and brands will be on hand with samples, demonstrations and live music teaching the kids that healthy habits can also be quite tasty.

Throughout the festival, the James Beard Foundation Future Foodies Pavilion will feature an impressive rotation of chefs, leading hands-on demonstrations for the little ones. Chef Jehangir Mehta, owner of NYC restaurants Mehtaphor and Graffiti, gives a preview of the recipe he'll be making at his three sessions this weekend, and a little insight into his inspiration as a chef.

What was the first recipe you remember making as a child? 
Scrambled eggs w/ cilantro and chili; the reason why we have "Green Eggs and Ham" on our breakfast menu at Mehtaphor.

Did you have an “a-ha!” moment that made you want to be a chef?
I like Oprah, but I don't have these kind of "a-ha" moments.

What inspires you in the kitchen? 
Chefs that I have worked with for a very long time and my team.

When dining out with the little ones, is it kosher to bring a kiddy meal from home? 
No.  You would be setting a tone that they should not be open minded to trying different foods.  I believe it's important to expose children to all kinds of foods that are available.

What is your secret talent?
I have an eye for art and furniture.

What recipe will you be demonstrating at the Kids Food Festival? What makes this recipe kid friendly? 
I will be demonstrating, "Onion Seed Shrimp, Oyster Mushrooms, Mung Bean Salad."  A recipe that is "kid friendly" is easy, healthy, and uses ingredients kids like.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? 
An art collector.

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