Bits 'n' Pieces: Youthful vigor spices cookbook

By Stover E. Harger III, Columbian neighborhood news coordinator

Published:

 

She might not know much about cooking — yet — but the 9-year-old has perfected being a kid.

Sophie Albright of Vancouver shared her youthful point-of-view during the creation of the "The Cultured Chef: An International Cookbook for Kids," which recently received nearly $10,700 from 178 investors in a monthlong Kickstarter campaign. Goops Unlimited, a small Battle Ground-based publisher, produced the cookbook, written by Nicholas Beatty and illustrated by Coleen McIntyre. It's set for release in late October.

Sophie is featured in the book as a child correspondent, sharing her perspective on various recipes and activities based on cuisines from around the world, which is all meant to broaden the food horizons of children. She'll also star in video clips that are planned to be included on a disc packaged with the 100-page cookbook.

While she's open to trying new cuisines, Sophie does draw the line somewhere. In helping with the book, she learned at least one recipe wasn't meant for her palate: an avocado smoothie.

"I did not like that one," she said. "It tastes like honey, but with avocados."

Sophie preferred whipping up a watermelon smoothie and Moroccan-themed ceviche, even though she had trouble pronouncing the latter dish.

Despite learning about the foods of the world in the last few months, Sophie isn't at the point of whipping up duck a l'orange or beef wellington. She's a fledging chef, but she's also still a kid.

"I like making pancakes because they are really simple," she said.

Sophie first got involved with Goops Unlimited a few years back when Beatty was preparing another kids cookbook, "Baking With Friends." Her mom, Erika Albright, said she answered a casting call looking for elementary school kids to be a part of promotional video clips. Since then, Erika said her daughter's natural charisma led the family to begin pursuing other modeling and acting opportunities. A few have paid modestly, but mostly the gigs are to gain experience, Erika said.

"I'm so appreciative we were able to be at the right spot to be a part of (the books)," she said.

Since the cookbook was a grass-roots effort, the mother and daughter helped with moneymaking efforts, including hosting a July 17 fundraiser at YogurtTime in Uptown Village. They feel like team players in helping getting the books made.

"We've been able to link arms and run alongside them," Erika said.

Learn more at http://www.culturedchef.com.

Bits 'n' Pieces appears Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a story you'd like to share, email bits@columbian.com.