Sunday, July 16, 2017

Two Area Children Tie as Winners in Silver Diner Kids’ Tasting & Recipe Contest

Chef Ype Von Hengst with winners Noah Knapp & Noelle Sarntinoranont (r)

From our friends at Silver Diner...

Restaurant Selects Some of Its Smallest Patrons to Assist in Menu Creation

Silver Diner received more than 45 entries from its recent Kids’ Tasting and Recipe Competition. Entries were from as far away as New Jersey (Silver Diner has a restaurant in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.) Of the 45 entries, 13 children were selected to participate as critics and consultants to Silver Diner’s Chef Ype Von Hengst, executive chef and co-founder of Silver Diner. Von Hengst retooled existing menu items and introduced new items for the Silver Diner Kid’s Menu. He has won numerous national awards and accolades for his healthy children’s menu.

In 2007, Silver Diner became the first chain restaurant in DC to eliminate trans fats from all of its menus. Following that, the restaurant launched its “fresh and local” menu. In 2012, Chef Ype noticed that kids were ordering more sides of strawberries than french fries and home fries combined. Silver Diner then experimented and removed french fries, home fries and soda from its kids’ menu. Sales soared. With so many healthy complete meals on the kids’ menu, Silver Diner began winning national awards and recognition. ChildObesity 180 and Tufts University selected Silver Diner as a national case study that was released in a national health journal with follow up studies in 2016.

The 13 children selected to participate in providing feedback to Chef Ype were selected based on their recipe and video submissions to Silver Diner.  Noah Knapp, 10, from Washington, DC and Noelle Sarntinoranont, 6, from Fairfax, VA. were selected as the two top winners and received Silver Diner Kids Meals for a year and a $500 Silver Diner gift card for their family members. The 11 runners-up each received a $100 Silver Diner gift card.

Noah’s submission was herb crusted salmon with citrus quinoa. Noelle submitted a seasonal pot pie recipe.

“It’s always amazing to me how talented these children are and how much they love cooking and healthy eating,” stated Von Hengst. “They have provided extremely valuable feedback to me in reworking a new kids’ menu.” For instance, Von Hengst took Noah’s inspiration for salmon and quinoa and is changing the existing salmon dish on the current kids’ menu. Instead of brown rice and mixed vegetables, the dish will have quinoa, edamame and pineapple. “With the kids’ feedback, I’m updating items and introducing some international flavors,” Von Hengst explained.

Participating children tasted eight dishes as parents looked on. Cookbook author Aviva Goldfarb emceed the event. Runners-up included Ben Chase, 6, from Fairfax, VA; Emmanuel Hymes, 8, from Fort Washington, MD; Leila Sacks-Skoufalos, 7, from Merchantville, New Jersey; Lukas Malachowski, 9, from McLean, VA; Lloyd Erim, 10, from Rockville, MD; Bhavana Rubin, 6, from Chevy Chase, MD; Bailey Cannon, 9, from Ashburn, VA; Kosei Smith, 6, from Hyattsville, MD; Eloise Quan, 9, from Falls Church, VA; and Jesse and Theo Kliman, 9, from Hyattsville, MD.

About Silver Diner:
With restaurants throughout Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey, Silver Diner is the preferred local restaurant for families seeking high-quality and healthier choices. Built on the values of integrity, quality and putting people first, the first Silver Diner was established in 1989 in Rockville, Maryland. Since then, Silver Diner has grown to own and operate 15 restaurants, serving three million customers yearly throughout the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. Executive Chef Ype Von Hengst ensures that food quality is a top priority, incorporating local ingredients wherever possible. By purchasing fresh and local ingredients, such as hormone free, all natural meats, milk free of bovine growth hormone and free-range chickens, Chef Ype keeps menu items chef driven and customer focused. In addition to an updated Fresh & Local menu, Silver Diner is engaged with local communities, schools and organizations. From Kid’s Nights to fundraisers with local schools, Silver Diner continues its mission to give back to its customers. The restaurant’s Eat Well, Do Well program donates a percentage of its sales to enrolled schools to improve nutrition and fitness programs. Schools may also host "Run the Diner" Fundraisers, where school volunteers help "Run the Diner" the night of a school’s fundraiser to help earn money for the school. For more information and to view the complete directory of locations, go to Visit Silver Diner on Facebook or follow @Silver_Diner on Twitter.