Budding chef uses cooking to defy disabilities
by Staff Writer
Celebrity chefs such as Emeril Lagasse and Gordon Ramsay better watch out.
Jacob Moore, a Bailey Middle School sixth-grader and aspiring chef, recently published his first cookbook, but he doesn’t want to stop there. He plans to take the determination he’s used to deal with the struggles of cerebral palsy, a condition doctors diagnosed him with after he was born three months premature, and dream big.
“I want to go on to culinary school to become a professional chef and one day open my own chain of restaurants,” Jacob said. “To me, food is like a piece of art that you actually get to eat.”
The idea for Jacob’s cookbook, “Shake Batter ‘N Roll: Rockin’ Recipes,” began when his mother, Kristi Moore, gave him a recipe composition book for Christmas 2010. Cerebral palsy limited Jacob’s ability to play sports, so he decided to pour his excess energy into cooking.
During the past year and a half Jacob and his mother have spent hours creating and tweaking recipes to go in the book, which can be purchased online for $12.50 at www.shakebatternroll.com.
“I thought it was a great way to give him something to look forward to,” Kristi Moore said. “We spent so much time just testing and retesting recipes. We had to redo some five or six times to get them just right. He approved every single recipe in the book.”
Jacob and his mom also enlisted the help of Nikki LaConti, who supervised most of the cooking. LaConti said that while most of the recipe tests resulted in tasty meals, the process came with some unexpected consequences.
“We were eating everything over and over, sometimes making two or three recipes a day,” LaConti said. “I’m still working off the pounds.”
The book features recipe chapters for appetizers and beverages, soups and salads, vegetables and side dishes, main dishes, breads and rolls, desserts and cookies and candy. It also includes a “Fun For Kids” section features recipes that kids can make on their own, such as pink popcorn hearts and Porky Pig pancake bake. A portion of the proceeds will go to the March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization that supports infant health and premature birth research, and the Levine Children’s Hospital at Carolinas Medical Center.
Now with recipes now complete, Jacob is taking some time out of the kitchen to promote his book. He is working with his friends and classmates at Bailey Middle School in hopes of appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and, one of his favorite cooking shows, The Rachael Ray Show.
“I’m going to work on a special vegan recipe to send to Ellen,” Jacob said. “We are sending a copy of the book, pictures, letters from my classmates – the whole nine yards – to send to Rachael and Ellen.”
But most of all, Jacob said, he wants to inspire kids who view their disabilities as permanent obstacles.
“There are plenty of things out there for kids like me,” Jacob said. “You should never let anything keep you from achieving a dream.”
Jacob’s recipe for Pizza Balls
• 3 cups Bisquick
• 1 (14-ounce) jar of Ragu pizza sauce
• 1 cup pepperoni minis
• 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
• non-stick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine Bisquick, pizza sauce, pepperoni and cheese. Blend well. Coat cookie sheets with cooking spray. Drop dough by the tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet two inches apart. Bake for 20 minutes.