Mom Jackie Isom of Levittown is planning to set a world record today: She’s headed to Manhattan to help celeb chef and New York City restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson and the Uncle Ben’s company host the most kids and parents cooking together at once.
Isom is bringing her two sons, Michael, 11, and Ryan, 10, and her mom, Veronica Rubino, 69, of Syosset, to the New York Public Library, where the invitation-only event takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. “I’m really excited,” says Michael, whose favorite foods include grilled cheese and chicken marsala. “I think it’s going to be a really good opportunity to show what I’ve learned with my mom and how much I love cooking.”
Kids and parents will be split into different groups, and each station will be preparing a recipe from one of seven countries, including Brazil and Greece. The groups at the stations aren’t actually “cooking” per se – the ingredients are already prepared and they will be mixing them together to complete the recipes, says Lindsey Burgess, a public relations spokeswoman for Uncle Ben’s.The families were chosen with the help of the New York State PTA, Burgess says. Twelve families from Long Island are participating.
The event kicks off the Ben's Beginners Cooking Contest, which any family can enter through Oct 6. The contest is meant to help children make healthier choices at an early age by getting them interested in cooking.
To enter, parents with children in kindergarten through eighth grade are invited to submit a less-than-three-minute video that shows the family together in the kitchen preparing a rice-based dish and discussing their experience cooking together. For more information, visit unclebens.com.
Isom plans to enter the contest with her kids. “My children and I love cooking together because it gives them the opportunity to create something for themselves,” she says. “It helps me get them to eat healthier foods.”