Chef Elena Hirsch’s winning omelet recipe—aptly titled “Barack-oli and Mich-room Obama-let” —landed the 11-year-old a seat at the third annual Kids’ State Dinner, held at the White House on Friday.
Hirsch is one of the winners of this year’s “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge” contest. The contest asks children ages 8 to 12 to submit healthy lunchtime recipes of their own creation. Winners and their parents or guardians are then flown to D.C., put up in a hotel, and entertained at the Kids’ State Dinner, which is hosted by first lady Michelle Obama and organized by Epicurious, the Department of Education, and the Department of Agriculture.
This year’s winners—who hail from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories—beat out close to 1,500 other entrants to come to the White House, where they were treated to a special performance from Disney’s “The Lion King” musical and a lively address from President Barack Obama.
“First of all, we have a lot of state dinners around here,” the president quipped. “They’re not always as cheerful and fun as this.”
Obama also revealed his greatest food weakness — chips and guacamole. Although his jokes yesterday might have led you to believe it was a shared milkshake.
Michelle vowed to give up french fries, her greatest food weakness, during her speech.
Notwithstanding its name, the Kids’ State Dinner is actually lunch—(after all, “State Lunch” doesn’t exactly scream presidential)— and the noontime menu features several of the winning recipes. This year, that included chicken lettuce wraps, tomato cucumber salad and “Tropical Strawberry Banana Secret Smoothies.”
The 54 winning recipes were judged based on taste, creativity, affordability, chef’s personal story, and, of course, Michelle’s pet project — MyPlate nutritional standards.
Chef Tess Boghossian, 11, from Illinois won for her healthy rendition of a soup served at Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration.
Chef Elena, creator of the “Obama-let,” said that it took her five days to come up with an omelet recipe that honored the members of the first family. In addition to “Barack-oli” and “Mich-rooms,” her recipe calls for car-MALIA-ized onions and butternut SquASHA, in honor of first daughters Malia and Sasha. All that was missing was first dog Bo.