Tyler chef needs help teaching kids to eat healthy - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Tyler chef needs help teaching kids to eat healthy

Christian Chavanne. Christian Chavanne.
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Chef Christian Chavanne is a bit like a snowball rolling down a hill. He picks up momentum and mass as he goes. But the mass is not size, it’s people he affects, and maybe even changes for the better. He hopes a recent appearance on The Food Network will make even more people eager to hear his message.

Even though he’s consulting chef at a restaurant in Tyler called “Cork,” Christian Chavanne is not from around these parts. “Born French and I will die a Texan, hopefully,” Chavanne said.

And while he’s around, he is going to do his best to start folks on a path to eating healthfully, and the best way to do that is to hit them when they first start walking the path: when they’re four. “We choose to create an experience for the kids involving fresh foods,” Chavanne revealed.

His Healthy Eating Action Team, Project H.E.A.T., involves hundreds of kids in a ten-class course that actually gets kids to eat fresh foods. “All senses are involved, we make them smell things, we make them test things, we get them to try new things,” Chavanne pointed out.

“It’s an interactive performance feast,” I observed.

“For the kids and for me, because every time I participate I get to relive that experience and I’m having fun, so on a level it’s kind of a selfish thing. I’m still a big kid at 62 years old,” Chavanne shared.

Which is partly what landed his on the Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” where Christian had a half hour to shop and prepare a meal.

“You have a piece of frozen fish, and you have 20 minutes to cook it, because that’s after the shopping and everything; to thaw it out, cook it and serve it. That’s challenging if you don’t have running water,” Chavanne stated.

Christian can’t say if he won, but he didn’t win the $20,000 shopping spree which was intended for Project H.E.A.T.

He says he recently ran into a child who went through the Project H.E.A.T. course, and years later, she still remembered. Her name was Destiny.

“Maybe it really was destiny that Destiny was in the parking lot, and it really validated what we’ve been doing; it did spur me on to really want to bring it forth to more people than just 200 kids,” Chavanne concluded.

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