Washington: A 9-year-old Indian-American girl who floored the Obamas by serving them a Quinoa burger with raita, enhanced with 'garam masala', cumin and ginger, won a chance to attend the Kids' State Dinner hosted by first lady Michelle.
Shreya Patel from Chicago was pleasantly surprised when US President Barack Obama came to her table during the Kids State Dinner hosted at the White House. Accompanied by her mother Priti Patel, Shreya was the only Indian-American to have been invited by the First Lady for now what has become an annual event.
The 55 participants to the Kids State Dinner were selected from a national Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. Nearly 1,000 kids had entered the competition this year. "I have watched my mom and grandma make all sorts of delicious food in the kitchen with an Indian twist since I was born," Shreya said."I have been helping them cook since I was three. I love to mix, measure, chop, and even clean up afterwards," she said. "My grandma and I came up with this recipe together because we both love sandwiches. We make this recipe often to take to school for lunch or even on picnics with friends," Shreya added.
Though the dinner is hosted by the First Lady, Obama has been making a surprise crash into the party every year. "I particularly am impressed with the Barackamole. So I'm expecting people to save me a little sampling of the Barackamole," he said amidst laughter. He said broccoli is his favorite vegetable. "I eat it all the time," Obama said. "You blew the judges away with your talent and creativity. You included fruits and veggies from every colour of the rainbow in your recipes. You used all kinds of ingredients - flax seed - do any of the adults even know what flax seed is? Cumin, and we have yellow miso paste that was included in one of the recipes - pretty sophisticated," the First lady said in her remarks.
One of the participants Dillon Andrews, 12, from Wyoming was invited for his Indian inspired food -- Indian tacos. "When I was little, I lived in San Francisco, and was exposed to all sorts of culture and food," he said. "One of my favorites was Indian food, so I decided to make an Indian style dish. I would serve this dish with mango and chai," Dillon said.
The Kids' State Dinner is part of Michelle's move to combat childhood obesity. Her 'Let's Move' initiative is 5-plus years old. After lunch, the winners got a tour of the first lady's White House Kitchen Garden to walk off the calories.