Budding Cook Healthy Eating Habits For Kids At The South Beach Wine & Food Festival 2/22/09


10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

WHO/WHAT: South Florida chef and founder of The Budding Cook, Mimi Chacin, will team up with the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival for a day of healthy cooking at Jungle Island. Mimi is set to host cooking classes for kids of all ages at the Fun and Fit as a Family’s “Destination Garden.” The ingredients for Mimi’s fresh and healthy recipes will be the native fruits, vegetables and herbs that grow year-round in the theme park’s sustainable food garden.

WHEN: Sunday, February 22, 2009, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Three classes will take place throughout the day on a loose schedule.

Estimated times are as follows:
FIRST CLASS: 11:30 a.m.
SECOND CLASS: 1:30 p.m.
THIRD CLASS: 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Destination Garden at Jungle Island
1111 Parrot Jungle Trail
Miami, Florida 33132

ADMISSION: $20 per person to enter Jungle Island

Galena Mosovich of Galena Mosovich Public Relations at (954) 675-3684 or galenapr@yahoo.com for The Budding Cook.

About The Budding Cook:
The Budding Cook is dedicated to teaching the joy of cooking to the youngest members of the multi-cultural South Florida community. The Surfside-based company offers fun and educational cooking classes to children ages 3 to 12+ from Aventura to Coral Gables in the comfort of their own homes. To learn more, please visit www.thebuddingcook.com.

About the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival:
The South Beach Wine and Food Festival is a national, star-studded, four-day destination event showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. Celebrating its eighth year, the festival is scheduled for February 19 – 22, 2009 at various venues in Miami Beach. For more information, visit www.sobewineandfoodfest.com.
About Fun and Fit as a Family:
The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival is proud to announce the return of its groundbreaking childhood obesity prevention initiative – South Beach Diet presents Fun and Fit as a Family featuring Kellogg’s Kidz Kitchen. Taking place February 21 & 22, 2009 throughout Jungle Island, one of Miami’s premiere theme parks, Fun and Fit as a Family will bring together the best culinary, fitness, food, and health personalities and professionals in the country to show the community how they can make healthier choices. For more information, visit www.funandfitasafamily.com.

South Florida Mom Turns Passion for Kids and Food into a Budding Business

Introduces New, Hands-On Approach to Teaching Valuable Skills
and an Appreciation for Food and Cooking

SURFSIDE, Fla. – The Budding Cook teaches kids from Aventura to Miami Beach the joy of cooking. Mimi Chacin, mother of two and founder of Surfside-based The Budding Cook, hosts cooking classes for kids from three to 12 by bringing the ingredients, the lessons, the equipment and the fun to their homes.

Chacin combines her passion for cooking with her flair for different cultures to provide a unique and educational activity for parents desperately seeking positive extracurricular outlets for their children.

“Kids are natural cooks because they are curious and have no fear in the kitchen,” said Chacin. “My goal is to channel their curiosity into the kitchen where we can cultivate an awareness of new flavors, cultures and nutrition.”

Born in Spain and raised in Venezuela by well-traveled parents, Chacin learned at a young age to embrace a multitude of cuisines. That is why many Budding Cook classes feature age-appropriate recipes for internationally-inspired dishes ranging from Pad Thai and Greek-inspired lamb meatballs with tomato, feta and olive salad to the more familiar whole wheat waffles with sliced fresh strawberries and maple syrup.

While fostering a greater appreciation of the origins of our food, The Budding Cook classes also reinforce traditional disciplines learned at school like math, reading, science, foreign language and geography, along with important skills like organization, following directions, time management and teamwork. According to Chacin, even the littlest Budding Cooks can benefit from refining their motor skills and improving their vocabulary.

As a culinary school graduate, Chacin understands the importance of kitchen safety. She strives to teach each Budding Cook the basics of proper food handling, food preparation, cooking techniques and presentation.

The excitement sparked by this latest craze for kids is palpable in Surfside, Bay Harbor, Miami Shores and other neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County where classes are in progress. Chacin is looking to the future with plans for summer camps and expansion to new neighborhoods like Coral Gables. She is also enthusiastic about introducing The Budding Cook concept to teenagers and adults as she grows.

Chacin received her B.S. in Mass Communications from Boston University in 1994 and graduated from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale’s Culinary Arts Program with high honors in 2005. Before founding The Budding Cook in 2008, she worked in the kitchen of Michy’s, a Miami hot spot for foodies, and served as a resident cooking teacher at Skipping Stones, a local enrichment and activity center for kids.

Chacin resides in Surfside, Fla. with her two sons.