BAM! It hit me when I was 2, the love of food. At first I liked my mom's homemade pesto, wild rice salad and some baby foods. It also started my love of mixing things and helping my mom cook when I was 2. But I started getting into Emeril when I was 8.
I liked cooking a lot and following recipes is OK, but what I really like is inventing foods. When I was 8 1/2 or 9, I invented my first food, "Chris' Family Delight." My parents loved it, and so did my grandpa, who doesn't like anything but cheeseburgers or the original South Dakota stuff.
I was 11 when I invented my favorite dessert, the "Chris Parfait." So far it has been the best, even though it is pretty fattening, but very, very good. But now that I'm 12, I'm starting to love cooking pork medallions in different ways, such as breaded or fried. I also cook things like mac-and-cheese, brownies, PBJ sandwiches and different types of pancakes, such as sausage.
Ooh, baby, this writing has given me more inspiration so I'm off to the kitchen.
-- Chris BettenAge 12, Woodbury
Cooking in my words is the best thing to do on the galaxy! Some things I like to cook are pizza, quesadillas and smoothies. Sometimes my mom will show me how to cook Mexican food. Cooking is fun!
-- Rico RodriguezAge 9, Minneapolis
I like to cook a lot of things. But most of all I like to cook muffins! Why? Because the batter is fun to mix. And every once in awhile I take my finger and dip it in the batter and then lick my finger. I love to pour the batter into the tin. Sometimes I sit in front of the oven and watch them rise. And most of all I like to eat them.
-- Rachel HaimAge 7, Minneapolis
My name is Josh Parisian. I am 12 years old and enjoy cooking. One of my favorite things to make is buttermilk pancakes (from scratch). Whenever I stay overnight at my uncle's house my cousins make me cook pancakes for them!
I have taken a couple of cooking classes where I learned to make egg rolls, dumplings, baklava and spanokopita. I also enjoy eating new and different foods. I have tried sushi and oysters. I have thought about becoming a chef or going to chef school. I like to watch Food Network on TV. Cooking is a lot of fun! I also like to play with friends, video games, computer games and football.
-- Josh ParisianAge 12, Farmington
My name is Alicia, I'm 6. I like to cook because you get to use pans and the stove. I stand on a chair next to Mom. I like to cook eggs because I like to crack them. And use a spatula. Sometimes I add milk to the eggs. I also like to make zucchini bread. Hopefully I will learn to cook other things soon just like Emeril does. I like when he gives treats to the kids in the audience.
-- Alicia DodgeAge 6, Apple Valley
Why do I like cooking? I like cooking because I enjoy to make people happy to eat my food. Cooking also makes me happy because I love to devour my own preparation.
Watching my parents cooking and learning different kinds of cuisine around the world on TV make me interested to play with foods and fire. Sometimes I make mistakes, but I always learn from them.
My favorite dish is Vietnamese fried rice because you can put a lot of ingredients in it like pieces of meat, eggs, scallions and seasonings.
Cooking is fun and exciting. Maybe I'll be a chef someday.
-- Ahn-Ton DangAge 12, Brooklyn Park
Poll: Which 2013 Taste Holiday Cookie Contest entry do you most want to try?