Main Ingredients

A Birthday Dinner to Remember

Mike Mazukar September 24, 2014

It was my 40th birthday and it had always been a tradition for our children to serve us breakfast in bed. This year my youngest son Kyle wanted to switch it up and prepare a four-course dinner. Kyle is only 10 years old, yet he’s already a very talented cook and highly proficient in the kitchen. His sophisticated palate and plating skills are unmatched and other than requiring adult supervision when using cutlery, there isn’t much he can’t accomplish on his own.

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Photo: reysart.com

Kyle has always been infatuated with food and as a child enjoyed playing with pots and pans. He never watched cartoons, rather he preferred The Food Network and is well on his way to becoming the world’s foremost child prodigy chef. We also help him with his food blog that receives over 100,000 hits per month!

“Dad, I wish you could stay home from work so I can show you what I’ve learned from watching Bobby Flay,” said Kyle. “I wish I could stay home too, but your sister Tiffany is going to take great care of you until your mother gets home,” I replied knowing all too well that Tiffany wouldn’t be much help with her eyes glued to her iPhone.

When I arrived home from work later that afternoon I was happy to see the house was still standing and the fire department hadn’t been called. I walked in the front door and was immediately hit with an incredible aroma.

“Happy birthday dad, dinner is just about ready!” Kyle excitedly blurted out. The dinner table was already set and I was immediately escorted to the head of the table and handed an ice-cold drink. As my wife and I remarked about how great the house smelled we asked Tiffany how much she really helped her brother.

“I drove Kyle to the store and we bought a few ingredients, but he kept telling me he wanted to do everything by himself,” Tiffany recalled. Our first course was ready, and Kyle delivered a healthy take on the classic Caesar salad. He chose kale over traditional romaine lettuce and topped the salad with a homemade dressing with what appeared to be anchovies.

“Kyle, this salad is remarkable and it’s so authentic with the dried anchovies. You never cease to amaze me son. You’re going to be a famous chef one day…I just know it!” I blurted out as I crunched down on the salted fish.

Next up was fried calamari, followed by a fish stock bouillabaisse and whole fish main course that looked equally delightful. As I finished the appetizer and began digging in, I gazed at my son and couldn’t help but think what an incredible birthday dinner this was. After it was all said and done I asked Kyle exactly how he made such an amazing dinner and where he found his inspiration.

“Well, it was really easy dad. I was watching a TV show about cooking fresh seafood and found almost all of the ingredients in the bait freezer in the garage. I topped the salad with frozen silversides, made the fish stock from ground chum, I fried the calamari from the box of squid and pulled the fish from a frozen Ziploc labeled menhaden,” he explained.

At the precise moment Kyle finished describing his preparations my stomach started to rumble. Kyle reluctantly got his wish and I was sick at home in bed for the rest of the week. It was definitely a birthday dinner I won’t soon forget and we no longer let Kyle watch TV. Needless to say, next year we are going back to breakfast in bed.

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