By Chelsea Duff
If you’re a MasterChef Junior fanatic, you already know 14-year-old Dara Yu “the Bow Girl.” Runner-up from season one of the Fox TV show, Dara’s been cooking for, well, half her life, since she was 7. We chatted with Dara about all her experience in the kitchen and what fun she has on her YouTube channel. Read on to get to know Bow Girl a little bit better….
What made you want to start cooking at such a young age?
Dara the Bow Girl: Cooking food is something I’ve always really been interested in, and something I’ve been around. My family was fortunate to be able to travel when I was younger, and one of the earliest memories I have is from when we were in Italy when I was 4 or 5. The waiter at a restaurant we were at gave me some pizza dough, and I got to make my own pizza.
What was the first recipe you mastered?
Dara the Bow Girl: I think salmon. I love seafood. If you want some salmon, come to me. I’ll make you some killer salmon.
What motivated you to try out for MasterChef Junior?
Dara the Bow Girl: One reason I went on the show was to inspire other kids to cook and show that, you know, kids can cook. Kids can go in the kitchen and cook their own dinners. If you’re good at following directions, that’s how you start out. You find a recipe that sounds good, and just try to follow it. I’ve definitely had some fails, but something good always comes out.
So…tell us about the bow.
Dara the Bow Girl: I got the bow at a birthday party for Hello Kitty at this little Japanese cafe. They were selling Hello Kitty bows, and I just bought one and thought it was cute. When I was trying out for the show, I thought it would help me stand out so people could get to know me. It’s a little crazy, but it’s so awesome and really reflects my out-there personality.
You’re working on a new cooking show, right?
Dara the Bow Girl: Yeah! My stepdad and I decided to do a web series for YouTube, just by ourselves. Then we actually got in contact with DreamWorksTV, and we did three videos with them on their YouTube channel. Now I have a new show called In the Kitchen with Dara the Bow Girl on the Go90 app, which is produced by DreamWorksTV. The first season will be fourteen episodes, and five are already out. They’re so much fun to film.
Do you have your eye on your own restaurant one day?
Dara the Bow Girl: That’s my big goal, and I’ve made some really good connections. I’ve actually been able to work in some of L.A. and New York’s biggest restaurants, which is really cool, so I’ve really learned a lot. I want it to be Asian infusion, have the flavors and stuff, but I also want it to be a cafe and a coffee shop and a lunch spot. I dream big. I’m really proud and excited to see how the restaurant industry changes in the next 10 years, I mean even in like five years. It’s a very male-dominated industry, and I think it’s time for girls and women to have a bigger role in the restaurant world. We need some women there to make it a little more fun.
What’s something fun you’ve cooked up?
Dara the Bow Girl: Well, I love working with the Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses. Those are my favorite right now, and I actually created a peppermint hot-chocolate cupcake with the Kisses in them. It’s so good, and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve made.
Check out Dara the Bow Girl’s peppermint hot-chocolate cupcake recipe here.
Do you love cooking like Dara does? What’s your favorite winter recipe? Please share!
Reprinted with permission from girlslife.com.