The first time Jianna Garcia helped her mom make guacamole — she was about 6 years old at the time — she decided she wanted to be a chef.
“I would scoop out the avocados and put them in the bowl,” Jianna said. Armed with a plastic butter knife, she chopped the tomatoes and the onions.
The fourth-grader at Providence Elementary School has prepared a lot more recipes since then, such as puddings, salads and popsicles, with a few that required heating up in the microwave.
To be a real chef, she knows she has to conquer her fear of the oven.
“I’ve just started, so it might be awhile,” Jianna said. She tried a recipe recently that required it, and she burned herself a little.
Jianna’s mother, Melissa Garcia, said she thinks her daughter may be inspired by her dad, who works as a restaurant manager.
“When she first said she wanted to be a chef, we said, ‘OK, and tomorrow it will be a fireman,’” Garcia said. “But she’s stuck with it.”
Jianna’s goal, Garcia said, is to be a chef on the Food Network. Her daughter has been encouraged by the children she’s seen featured lately on the cable channel.
To that end, Jianna’s parents have helped her with a blog, www.theprincessinthekitchen.blogspot.com, which features Jianna’s food adventures and recipes.
They also signed Jianna up for the Taste of Home Cooking School on Saturday.
Kids who want to learn how to cook have other opportunities through the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
Maggie Jover leads cooking and nutrition programs, including one designed for youths called Super Saturdays several times a year. Last weekend, Jover and area youths learned about Greek cooking and ingredients.
She plans another Super Saturday sometime before Christmas.
“We learn about healthy food preparation and healthy eating,” Jover said.
Jianna will have a small table at the cooking school where she will share her recipes and sell aprons she makes out of recycled T-shirts.
But mostly, she said, she plans on taking the classes and learning more recipes.
“I want to learn about using the stove and can conquer my fear,” Jianna said.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.
Taste of Home Cooking School
What: Vendors and demonstrations
When: Doors open at 4 p.m. Saturday; show begins at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Denton High School auditorium, 1007 Fulton St.
Tickets: $12, available online at www.dentonrc.com or at the Denton Record-Chronicle office, 314 E. Hickory St.