Alexandre Passalacqua will be leading a "Cooking With and For Kids" demo this coming Sunday, February 26, at 6 p.m. in the Miami Beach Convention Center. The event is part of Blazing Kitchen, an ongoing interactive series of culinary demonstrations, seminars, and tastings within the second annual Miami Wine & Spirits Expo being held this weekend -- an alternative to those who may not have tickets to that other food festival also taking place.
Alexandre, a Miami native who attends Somerset Academy, will be demonstrating how fast, easy, and safe it is for children to prepare their own meals. On the menu: Croque-monsieur, macaroni-and-cheese, and pita pizza. "Romin and Yasmany (cooks from LouLou Le Petite Bistro) will help me a little bit," concedes the young Passalacqua, whose love of cooking comes from his father Victor Passalacqua (Culinary and Special Events Director of Miami Wine & Spirits and long-time Miami chef/restaurateur/consultant). We asked Alexandre about his specialties, favorite restaurants, and what cooking means to him.
New Times: At what age did you start getting involved in cooking?
Alexandre Passalacqua: When I was 7 my dad allowed me to come into the kitchen to prepare my favorite breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. At that time I was allowed to crack and beat the eggs. I then discovered that food was a pleasure to not only eat but also to make.
What are a few dishes you can cook now?
Mussels marinieres, spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni-and-cheese, and salads.
Do you have a specialty?
Breakfast-like pancakes with fruits and whipped cream.
Is your goal to become a professional chef?
No, I would like to be a professional athlete.
I really didn't expect you to say that. What kind of athlete?
A football player.
Who are your favorite players?
Ted Ginn Jr. of the Dolphins, but they traded him. Also Mark Sanchez.
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What is it about cooking that you like?
Cooking makes me happy and I love the anticipation that comes before trying something I prepare. It is a lot of fun, and brings me closer to my dad. During the holidays, my cousin Maxine in Canada told me that I was lucky to cook with my dad and I said, "I KNOW!" And as he says, "A family that cooks together sticks together!"
If you'd like to see your kids become a bit more proficient in the kitchen, bring 'em down to the Convention Center on Sunday (ticket info is on the website). If you're lucky, you'll get to taste Alexandre's macaroni-and-cheese.