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.