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A crowd of 400--including about 90 kids--crowded into the Chelsea Market for Child magazine's party to celebrate the release of Emeril Lagasse's new kid-friendly cookbook, Emeril's There's a Chef in My Soup!, released by HarperCollins and excerpted in Child's April issue.
Mary Cleaver of the Cleaver Company adapted Lagasse's recipes into hors d'oeuvres-sized portions for the evening, including food stations that served Emeril's First Alphabet Soup and Junior's Jambalaya. Passed hors d'oeuvres included such kiddie favorites as egg salad (updated and stuffed into mini pitas and garnished with avocado), cheese quesadillas, and chicken nuggets. But the real crowd pleasers--besides the appearance of the master-Bam!-er himself--were the three interactive food stations where enthusiastic kids (and not a few adults) showed off their culinary skills by decorating mini cupcakes, twisting their own soft-baked pretzels and dipping fruit into chocolate fondue.
After decorating their food, many of the kids bounced happily to the beat of a jazz band and slurped smoothies while their parents sipped wine.
Child promotion director Alice Birnbaum worked with Cleaver and Child art director Ruth Guzman to create a citrus-inspired d?cor theme: bunches of yellow, orange and green balloons dotted the market space, and coordinating tablecloths held simple centerpieces using lemons, limes and oranges. Huge blowup pages of the cookbook and pages of the Child feature story decorated walls, as did illustrated paper cutouts of fruits and veggies taken from the cover of the cookbook. “My whole goal was to take editorial features and bring them to life,” Birnbaum says. “This was a celebration of Emeril, the magazine and the book.”