Last year, I released a comedic novel, SoupChad, the tale of a boy who loves soup (and won’t tolerate kids who liked salad). It’s a fun little story, meant as an allegory about intolerance and learning to respect others who might think differently.
But SoupChad’s love of soup, I’ve discovered, is also part of the book’s niche appeal. I've received numerous emails from parents and loved ones of young chefs, expressing their child's excitement at discovering this "tasty" little book.
Kid chefs have developed an affection for this soup-foodie of a thirteen year old.
It’s a golden time for kids who cook, with numerous television programs showing off the fine culinary skills of boys and girls as they create everything from appetizers to exotic dessert dishes. Even Chef Gordon Ramsay is prominent in the game, with his Masterchef Junior series, which just completed its seventh season. Gone, it seems, are the days when most kids were finicky eaters and lacked even a hint of culinary bravery.
SoupChad isn’t a book about cooking—Chad loves soup, but prefers it canned. As kids his age are prone to do, he's gone all-in on his obsession, even creating a “Soup Club” to share his soup-centric world view with doubtful classmates. He annoints club members with club names based on their favorite soup. He’s soon surrounded with kids named Noodle, Spinach and Chowder.
Kid chefs, I’m happy to say, recognize SoupChad as one of their own, while also sympathizing with the salad-loving classmates he faces in a climactic showdown. In the end, Chad learns that while he can still love soup, there's other food to love, too!