|Sarasota, FL Element in downtown Sarasota launches its Celebrity Chef Series September 20th and 21st with the winner of season 6 (2018) of Fox TV’s hit series, Master Chef Junior. Beni Cwiakala of Chicago, who was just nine years old when her winning season ran, will work with element’s Executive Chef Nils Tarantik to create the Friday and Saturday night “chef’s specials,” and will be available to meet element dinner guests.
Saturday morning will be dedicated to a crepe cooking lesson for 10 aspiring young Sarasota chefs led by Beni. “Crepes are my very favorite things to cook at home,’ she said, “and I thought other kids interested in cooking would like to learn how easy and fun they are to make.”
On her website, beniandthechefs.com, this amazing young talent tells us all about herself. “My name is Beni. I’m a born and raised Chicago girl. Since I was about 3 years old, I’ve helped my parents in the kitchen. My family likes to cook as many meals as we can, using fresh, healthy ingredients. We eat pretty much everything, but most of the time we focus on vegetables, fish and whole grains. As my brother and I grew up, my parents would introduce us to all kinds of food from around the globe, from pickled herring to dragon fruit. They always said that we had to try everything once if we don’t like it, we need to give it another chance as our taste buds develop.”
“I was taught to know where your food comes from. The more I cook, the more I realize that trying food from other cultures helps you better understand the people from those cultures and you can go anywhere in the world and have something in common. Cooking is also creative and you can open your heart and mind into a dish and are able to eat the results! Knowing how to cook is something no one can take away from you. It’s a skill that you can use for a career or just for fun.”
“The kitchen is the place where all our family and friends hang out, everyone is happy, we listen to music and talk. I’m focusing on teaching kids (and adults) to not be scared cooking, experiment with new ingredients and just have fun!”
Children from 9 to 13 years of age that would like to cook crepes with Beni on Saturday morning should have their parents call 941-210-5644 to reserve their spot. There is a $150 entry fee to participate which helps toward the cost of each child’s apron and crepe pan, which they will be allowed to keep.
About element: Just less than two years ago, Chef Nils Tarantik introduced element as a new addition to the Sarasota restaurant scene. His team has worked hard to create a unique experience encompassing all of the elements of a truly memorable meal. Chef Nils said, “Each dish on the menu tells a story. Food, like life, is made up of so many individual ingredients, and my job is to transform those ingredients into the food we all love and the memories we all cherish.” His riffs on classic Mediterranean favorites along with element’simmersive atmosphere, and superb wine and craft cocktail offerings are meant to seduce the senses and entice the palate of all his guests.
element offers Lunch Monday to Friday from 11 am until 2 pm, Weekend Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10 am until 2 pm, and Dinner begins nightly at 4:30 pm.
1413 Main Street
Sarasota, FL 34236