What to Know
- Parker Bates has been named an honorary member of the Jr. Chef Council at Great Wolf Lodge.
- He plays Kevin Pearson on "This Is Us"
- He used his grandmother's recipes for inspiration on new menu items.
Parker Bates, who plays young Kevin Pearson on "This Is Us", is putting down his script and picking up a pan. In addition to being a talented young actor, Bates is also an aspiring chef. He spends his free time creating his own recipes for friends and family and pulling ideas from his grandmother's recipe book.
And when the folks at Great Wolf Lodge got wind of his flare for flambé, they invited him to be an honorary member of their Jr. Chef Council. Bates will work with other talented child chefs to create a new summer kids menu available exclusively at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California and Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine.
Bates used his personal recipe book to cook up the Campfire Sloppy Joe and Southern Fried Biscuit Strawberry Shortcake - both of which speak to his Texas roots. Bates worked alongside Great Wolf Lodge Southern California Executive Chef Hany Ali to ensure that both dishes complement the current kids menu, offering the likes of waffle grilled cheese and the pizza burger, and meet Great Wolf Lodge's high food quality standards and allergy-friendly nature.
What to do, where to go and what to see
"When we first met Parker, we of course knew he was a superstar young actor, and were thrilled to discover his passion for cooking," said Chef Hany Ali. "Cooking with Parker is always an adventure; his palate and knowledge of the kitchen is quite impressive for someone his age."
"I was so excited when Great Wolf Lodge asked me to make these special summer dishes for them," said Parker Bates. "I think it's very cool that they want to serve menu items created by kids, for kids. I love going to Great Wolf Lodge and slipping and sliding down the waterslides and learning from Chef Hany in the kitchen. I can't wait for kids visiting Great Wolf Lodge to try some of my favorite recipes this summer."
Great Wolf Lodge's Junior Chef Council members include MasterChef Junior Season 2 winner, Logan Guleff (15) and MasterChef Junior Season 5 winner, Jasmine Stewart (13); Jonas Cora Ehrlich (12) and Gavin Cora Ehrlich (10), sons of Iron Chef Cat Cora and wife, Nicole Cora Ehrlich; Madeline Zakarian (11) and Anna Zakarian (9), daughters of Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian; and Conrad Elliot (8) and Jed Elliot (6), sons of Chef Graham Elliot. While Conrad is an official member of the Council, Jed serves as the Council's official taster, ensuring his brother and other members are delivering on the culinary goods.
The new Great Wolf Lodge kids' menu started rolling out to the company's resorts earlier this year and features a combination of more traditional menu options for kids who are firm in what they like to eat, and unique offerings for kids with open to more culinary exploration. Along with the aforementioned waffle grilled cheese and pizza burger, additional offerings include green spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese pancakes, gluten-free chicken tenders and dessert such as peppermint s'mores and a build-your-own parfait.
"This Is Us" airs Tuesday nights on NBC.