All of us (or almost all) have memories from childhood of being in the kitchen with our mother or father or grandmother. A love of cooking is passed on from generation to generation. To keep the tradition going, Coup de pouce and Recettes du Québec have launched a reality web series to encourage parents to take their kids into the kitchen.
In all, a dozen capsules feature parent-kid duos cooking up a recipe within a set time limit. Every episode is hosted by Eliott Miville-Deschênes, a charming 10-year-old who has appeared on such TV shows as La théorie du K.O., L’auberge du chien noir, and La galère. It is Eliott who invites the child and parent to take up the challenge.
For instance, Marie-Ève and her son Benjamin have 30 minutes to create an apple curry, a recipe selected by Benjamin. The duo takes a moment to introduce itself and heads for the kitchen. “Go!” says Eliott, just as Chef Daniel Vézina does on his show Les chefs! And so Benjamin is off. He takes charge of the kitchen, and his mother can intervene only if her son asks for assistance. Eliott throws his own pinch of salt into the mix through banter with the boy. Then, Julie DesGroseillers, a nutrition specialist and author – Manger des bananes attire les moustiques (“Eating bananas attracts mosquitoes”), Dis-moi qui tu es, je te dirai quoi manger (“Tell me about yourself, and I’ll tell you what to eat”) – provides tips and advice on how to eat better while having fun. Once the dish is ready, it’s time for the tasting!
The objective of the web series launched in January 2015 and created for Dairy Farmers of Canada, was to show how important it is to pass on culinary knowledge from one generation to the next. “Our main concern as a team was to be realistic. Getting kids active in the kitchen is fine, but we needed to show it in a realistic manner,” says Jocelyne Morissette, director, project management team, Montreal and Toronto, at Quebecor.
To find parent-child duos, an invitation was placed in Coup de pouce, both the print magazine and the web site. About a hundred families answered the call. The duos that were selected are representative of reality and include fathers, mothers, and young girls and boys you can find in real family kitchens in apartments in town or houses in the suburbs.
“We consider culinary culture to be part of Culture with a capital C, just like literature or theatre,” asserts Martin Jolicoeur, the director on the web series, who has also directed Par-dessus le marché (on the TVA network) and L’assiette démystifiée (on Canal D). “The shoots went really, really well. I have to say that Jocelyne Morissette and line producer Éloïse Forest did a great casting job.” The duos were well-prepared prior to shooting. The director also emphasized Eliott Miville-Deschênes’s professionalism and ability to put the kids at ease. “The whole thing was extremely well-orchestrated, even without a script,” notes Martin Jolicoeur. “Through these capsules, we wanted to show how cooking together can help families share certain values.”
To view a few capsules, click here.