Eleven-Year-Old Chef's Inspiring Tale

Make for Mohawk Bend and celebrate the food and story of Tyler Cordova.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Friday, Jan 10, 2014  |  Updated 6:59 PM PDT
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Eleven-Year-Old Chef's Inspiring Tale

Mohawk Bend

Meet Tyler Cordova and try some of his dishes, as prepared by Mohawk Bend Executive Chef Erick Simmons, on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

If you, or someone you love, has ever gone through a major illness and period of recovery, you know that one of the first recommendations of doctors and caregivers is to find a passion to commit to outside of the healing, the better to enhance and ease the healing process.

Tyler Cordova clearly took that spirit to heart, even at age 4. The Los Angeles boy was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, which ultimately led to a bone marrow transplant at City of Hope. Though relapses and long-term hospital stays were a major part of his journey, Tyler found joy and passion through hours spent watching the Food Network from his bed.

So he did what any of us might dream doing but very few would find the get-up-and-go to do: He wrote a book full of recipes. Now eleven, Tyler -- or shall we say, Chef Cordova -- will bring some of his recipes to a soon-to-be-adoring public while headlining the restaurant's first Authors Worth Celebrating night at Mohawk Bend in Echo Park.

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 14. Cost? Twenty dollars.

Mohawk Bend Executive Chef will do the stove honors, creating some of Tyler's favorite dishes. Those include Goat Cheese Meatballs -- um, yum -- a choice of pasta or pizza and a brownie sundae. You can go Caesar salad if meatballs aren't your thing.

But the spotlight of the night? Yep, it'll be on the food, but the cuisine-creating visionary'll be in the house as well. You can meet Tyler and have him sign your copy of "Savoring Life." Book purchases'll lend a hand to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Greater Los Angeles, as well as a portion of funds raised from the dinner itself.

Not only will Chef Cordova's new fans enjoy some major meatball action -- we say it again, yum -- but here's hoping that anyone seeking recovery finds that special something that lights the inner fire.

Thank goodness Tyler found those cooking shows, programs that didn't simply allow him to pass the time during hospital stays but totally inspired him. Now he, at age 11, is passing that inner-fire torch to many others, as well as a few delicious brownies, too.

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