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Around Our Magic Table

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Do you remember the last time you were at the dinner table without your phone? Think hard. It might be difficult to remember a time, isn't it?

Life happens to us all and it’s very easy to get lost in the chaos of life.

When I was growing up, I remember standing on my Fisher-Price stool in my pink Dora the Explorer nightgown while I “helped” my mom and dad cook. Together, we would gently stir the batter and carefully knead the dough. We would then sit around our old stone table next to the warm kitchen with no devices in sight and simply talked and laughed together. One day, I realized I no longer needed that Fisher-Price stool to help me see over the counter. I remember gently nudging my parents out of the kitchen and confidently saying “I got this.” That was our first dinner time where I, the child, cooked the whole meal and I still remember how proud I was.

That feeling of confidence and independence in the kitchen is what kept me going. I remember I did everything I could to learn as much as possible about cooking. I watched hours of Barefoot Contessa entertaining her guests with fun and simple recipes and Giada De Laurentiis creating the most spectacular Italian dishes.

But nothing compares to the joy of the final product and that moment of sharing my creation with my family. I live for seeing that first-bite reaction. Feeding people gives me great happiness and still is one of my most favorite moments.

My hope is for other children to feel the same confidence, independence, and sense of warmth, so I created Bloomin' Chef (formerly known as Culinary Sprouts). Bloomin' Chef creates educational cooking kits for children that come with all the necessary ingredients and a recipe video to help guide them throughout the entire cooking process. It has been so rewarding to see these children learn new recipes and become more confident in the kitchen. These kiddos are then able to share their delicious creations with their families around their Magic Table. The smiles on their faces are simply priceless.

Making magical memories around the dinner table was so important in our household. Now, at age 24, I realize how critical and formative those moments were. The daily engagement and close communication with my parents without the distraction of devices only strengthened our relationship.

I encourage you this week to bring your little ones in the kitchen and make dinner together. Sit down without devices around your Magic Table. Talk, laugh, and chat. Remember, it’s okay to make a mess in the kitchen and it’s okay to go slower. Prioritize those moments and enjoy that precious time together with your loved ones.

Warm dishes,

Mareesa Ahmad

Founder and Owner of Bloomin' Chef

(formerly known as Culinary Sprouts)

To learn more about the benefits of family dinners:

To learn how to integrate more family dinners in your schedule:

To purchase a children’s book focused on the importance of cooking and eating together:

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