A Red Deer local is looking forward to the launch of a brand new collaborative cooking show with young foodies titled Just One Bite, set to premiere this month.
Creator, Access Producer and Host Meg Tucker is being joined by 10 young Albertans to experience the joy of trying new food, experimenting in a kitchen and of course, enjoying their creations. The show’s first episode will air on ShawTV on Sept. 12th at noon and 7 p.m.
“For me this show is just a no-brainer. I’ve always wanted to do this. I love to cook and I love kids,” Tucker said.
“Kids are so innocent, they don’t have a filter and they are honest and funny. I get such joy from them. I love being an auntie to my little nieces and nephews, they bring me such a sense of joy. I thought it would be great to do a show with kids and not just a show where we say, ‘Measure this, and stir this.’
“The whole concept of our show is to give kids ‘just one bite’ of certain ingredients and talk about those ingredients and that’s where it’s fun. Some of the kids love what they’re trying and some of them are hysterical, spitting out their food and saying it’s the worst thing they’ve ever eaten. It’s fun.”
Just One Bite will work collaboratively with children to teach them about trying new foods, experimenting in the kitchen and developing a love of cooking. Tucker said the process has been an absolute joy from start to finish, and she is very excited to see the final product.
She added it was a bit of a learning experience to actually work with the kids, but one that she thoroughly enjoyed.
“It is a different process working with kids. You can produce the show and map it out seven ways to Sunday, but when you’re actually there with a little kid beside you, you have to really break it down.,” she said.
“For example, I pick up a can and open it without thinking, but some kids might not have ever held a can opener and that’s a new experience for them. It’s so back to basics and it was fun for me to realize and learn on the spot how step by step you need to be with kids. I think that is something that we, as adults working with kids, forget.
“If you have a chance to let kids learn, it’s amazing how they take to it.”
Tucker has had some experience with cooking shows as a contestant on Master Chef Canada, season two. She said she enjoyed her time in that program and felt encouraged to pursue her love of cooking and develop new opportunities for herself.
She added she enjoyed the experience, but was looking for a non-competitive environment while developing the child-friendly concept. She was thrilled with the community response to the open call for kids to join and enjoyed the process of finding her young co-stars.
“We asked kids to send in a little video showing them being creative and telling me who they were and why they wanted to be on the show. We received videos from all over Alberta and the kids were so cute. I loved watching how excited they were,” she said.
“One little girl was dressed up in a full chef outfit and was behind a little booth that looked like a smoothie stand and she worked through her whole recipe and adding ingredients like love – it was just enough to break your heart with sweetness.
“For me, this show really re-enforced that this truly is what I want to be doing. I love cooking with kids. They are so innocent and adorable and kind. We had 10 kind, sweet, smart little kids who loved food and wanted to learn. That’s what this show is about for me.”
Tucker said the experience has also been a little emotional due to the excitement and engagement she sees in the children participating and in the response from their parents on the kids’ participation.
“Something that made me well up was getting an email from one of the moms of a young girl on our show telling me they had to stop at the grocery store on the way home from the taping and buy fresh fennel for the girl to cook with at home. The mom told me her daughter obviously wanted more than just one bite. That to me was amazing – if one kid can go home after shooting or watching the show and want to try something new, that’s fantastic,” Tucker said.
“It’s definitely been life-changing, even though we’ve only shot four episodes so far,” she said with a laugh.
“It’s been awesome.”
The show will be broadcast on television, but will also be available online at justonebite.ca. The episodes will run for two weeks and then a new episode will air. Tucker said there is already talk of more episodes to be filmed.
She said she is excited for the experience and is looking forward to the final product.
“People love watching kids. We haven’t even aired yet and this is being received really well. I’m so proud of these 10 Alberta kids who have taken part in this. I feel like a proud mama thanks to all the wonderful kids from around the province who joined me for this.”