Fifty four kids from every state and some U.S. territories dined at the White House Tuesday. They were chosen as winners to attend the second annual Kids State Dinner.
APRN caught up with Alaska’s delegate –Seward resident Rowan Bean.
Rowan Bean is only nine years old … but has the culinary creativity of a professional chef.
That Alaska-Caribbean fusion won Rowan a free trip to the White House. She was chosen to represent Alaska at the Kids State Dinner – part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign.
Each dish had to follow federal food guidelines set by MyPlate.gov – that’s the new iteration of the old food pyramid.
The carbohydrates in Rowan’s dish came from the fruit, vegetables and whole grain tortilla chips. And to get the dairy requirement, she washes it down with a glass of milk.
The First Lady told the assembly it wasn’t easy getting to where they were.
“You all stood out among a pool of 1300 submissions for this contest. So this was no easy task. If you deal in statistics and odds, the odds were pretty tough getting a seat at this table. So you should be very proud of yourselves.”
The state dinner – actually a lunch – came complete with all the pomp and circumstance of any world-leader sit down … White House China, and butler service included, something the First Lady made note of.
“We set this event up, and we mirrored it exactly to what world leaders experience here. We were in this very room; that receiving line you had to sit through, stand through, we do that.”
The trip was a whirlwind for Rowan and her parents. She’s going into the fourth grade, and her highlights of the trip were a visit to the National History Museum, where she saw Dorothy’s ruby red slippers and the original star-spangled-banner.
But most memorable, was the surprise pop in by the president.
“He asked me what my dish was, so I told him it was Alaska ceviche with mango.”
Rowan says she explained to the president how she came up with her dish. She likes cooking salsa with her mom, so it all started there.
It helps that cooking is in her blood. Her father, Erik Slater, is an executive chef at a resort near Resurrection Bay. He accompanied her to the White House lunch.
“She’s a good sous chef, absolutely. Now only if I could get her to do some dishes once in a while.”
And music to his ears, Rowan says she wants to follow in the family footsteps.