(french) food revolution day 2014 {ffwd}

food revolution day

Today is Food Revolution Day 2014, spearheaded by chef Jamie Oliver. This year’s theme is to “get kids excited about food”. Cooking is a life skill that in a time of many food issues, including obesity, poor nutrition, and eating too much processed food, give people much more control over what they eat. It’s like the old proverb, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”. Cooking follows the same premise.

A person can learn to cook any time, but learning as a kid will get them excited about food for life. Cooking doesn’t have to be hard or elaborate, and there is nothing more satisfying than taking basic ingredients and transforming them into something to eat. It can be as simple as cooking vegetables or only slightly more involved like baking or making pancakes. Cooking teaches kids about the science of cooking, and pleasure of enjoying the fruits of your own labor, and, importantly, the joy of sharing food with others.

For French Fridays with Dorie, our approach to observing Food Revolution Day this year is to choose a recipe from Around My French Table, the book we are working our way through, that we think every kid should know how to cook. The book is filled with a wide assortment of recipes, many of them quite simple for any level of cook. I paged through the book making notes on what I thought a kid should know how to cook and came up with this list.

I’m a childless adult with limited daily interaction with today’ youth, so I wasn’t sure about my judgment. I was guessing about things I would have liked to make when I was young which was very focused on baking. As a sanity check, I asked my almost-13-year-old niece Maggie to give me her list. It wasn’t possible for us to then cook together, but I was interested in what recipes in the book got her excited.

So, no cooking (or pictures) for me this Food Revolution Day, but here are our lists of “must know how to make” recipes from Around My French Table.


  • Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux: My #1 favorite recipe in AMFT. EVERYONE should know how to make this one.
  • Cheez-it-ish Crackers: Much healthier to make your own snacks.
  • Christine’s Simple Party Soups: Almost as easy as opening a can, and much tastier. Also a great template for making your own version with a favorite vegetable and spice.
  • Potato-Chip Tortilla: It’s fun to use potato chips in a main dish.
  • Cinnamon-Crunch chicken: It’s fun to be able to make a quick dinner with cookies!
  • Top-Secret Chocolate Mousse: Again another favorite that’s impressive but not hard to make.


  • Celery-celery soup
  • Café salle pleyel hamburger
  • Boeuf a la ficelle
  • Coconut lemongrass braised pork
  • Scallops with caramel orange sauce
  • Long & slow apples
  • Olive oil ice cream
  • Bubble top brioches


What a revelation! First of all, our lists had no overlap. Maggie’s palette was much more sophisticated than mine was at her age. I was always an adventurous eater, but the available ingredients back then was much more limited. Also, she didn’t pick any quick-to-satisfy baked goods. None of the cookies or cakes that would have called to me. I was impressed with her choices.

To see what choices the other Doristas made, check out their Food Revolution Day 2014 links here.

Now, go get excited about food!


Posted on 16 May 2014, in Family, French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I love this post! Great idea to create separate lists and compare. My choice was also your first… My nieces did like the idea of a chicken dish being indispensable – though anything puff pastry was a close 2nd :). I’m on the hook for teaching soup this summer too. We’ll see!

  2. oooh. I forgot about those cheese crackers! How come I have not made them again. I think I ate the last batch all by myself.

  3. I have exactly the same thought as you regarding Maggie’s sophistication. Scallops? A 13-year-old young lady? Coconut, Lemongrass braised pork? Not so sure of that one myself. Olive oil ice cream? Although I liked this once I made it, I would never have picked it myself. Yours, except for Christine’s party soups, is more what I would have chosen. Betsy, do you remember that you were one of the few who liked those soups??? This was a great experiment, Betsy. A great idea. Something I might try with Emma (13) and Clara (11). Happy Food Revolution Day 2014, Betsy. A successful day, don’t you think?

  4. I love your idea of comparing notes with a teenager. I like both the lists but at 13, my list might have overlapped with Maggie’s more. I guess I would have included Celery-celery soup, Café salle pleyel hamburger, Long & slow apples, Olive oil ice cream
    and Bubble top brioches in the list out of sheer curiosity.

  5. Wow! Maggie has a very sophisticated pallet for a 13 year old!! I would definitely choose the Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux…also one of my favorites. However she picked the olive oil ice cream…which I found delectable! Both lists are wonderful…I loved the idea of comparing them! Very nice post, Betsy! Have a great weekend!

  6. What a GREAT idea for this post Betsy! I should have saved Charlotte’s choices too (but honestly it was most of the book!) for future reference. Her palate is sophisticated like Maggie’s – who would have thought. Love love love this idea!

  7. Helyn Benjamin

    Hi. In Bilbao , Spain. Went to old city. Very picturesque. Lots of families because sat. Had wine and tapas In three local bars. Fun day. Love xxxxxx

    Sent from my iPad


  8. Both lists are great…. I do have plans for make-ups from both lists on my mind!

  9. Great idea doing the lists and I actually not totally surprised that there wasn’t over lap. YOu learn with time what is really important to be able to cook… but her list was truly interesting.

  10. Betsy, what a wonderful post with all those fabulous choices for recipes! I am aways amazed at the choices that the kids make when it comes to choosing what to prepare for dinner.
    What a great way to celebrate Food Revolution Day 2014 with our children!
    Have a nice weekend!

  11. Betsy I think you did a great job at representing the spirit of Food Revolution Day. I wasn’t able to participate this year hopefully next year.

  12. Your niece really does have a sophisticated palate! She’s a gourmet already. I love cooking with my nieces, though we don’t do it as often anymore, now that they’re older and so busy.

    I think both lists are good ones for young cooks, though yours might have more to tempt a kid who isn’t that interested in cooking yet.

  13. I was thinking just what Teresa posted…your niece is definitely a foodie! Love both your lists.

  14. I think I’d choose the roast chicken – easy and tasty.

Thanks for visiting! Leave me a comment to let me know what you think. I love comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: