By combining cups of fun with splashes of creativity, Katie Wilton has created a unique recipe for inspiring kids to cook.
Author of You’re the Cook: A Guide to Mixing it up in the Kitchen, which the Christian Science Monitor recently called “a great deal of fun” for kids, Wilton has managed to mesh her love of teaching middle school students with her passion for cooking in this newly released cookbook, which includes step-by-step recipes and vivid photographs along with fun facts and culinary techniques for children ages 9-14.
“My mission is to teach middle school-aged children how to cook, but my hope is that they will take advantage of power of cooking in the process,” she said. “Cooking provides the opportunity to gather family and friends and share stories, laughter and ideas over a delicious meal, and I think it’s time to reclaim the joys of preparing a meal and eating together.”
The fourth child in a family of five in Buffalo, N.Y., Wilton spent years honing her cooking skills following her graduation from Wittenberg with a B.A. in elementary education. While teaching sixth-grade language arts at the Wellington School in Columbus, Ohio, Wilton began participating in numerous local college cooking courses in the Columbus community. She then decided to move to the East Coast and apply to the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (CSCA) outside Boston, Mass., from which she earned her Professional Chef’s Diploma in 1999.
Now a member of the American Institute of Wine & Food, The Culinary Guild of New England and the International Association of Culinary Professionals, where she received her Certified Culinary Professional (CCP) license, Wilton quickly kicked her love of teaching and cooking up a notch by starting her own company, Cooking with Katie Inc., in 2001.
Although she continues to teach at local community centers and after-school programs, Wilton remains passionate about empowering children to learn basic culinary skills and gain confidence at the same time.
“Cooking is a life-skill that helps you do for others. It’s a valuable asset that often gets overlooked in school curriculums and in many busy households, and I want to change that.””