Inspiring Latina of the Week: 13-Year-Old 'Kid Chef' Eliana de Las Casas

Eliana de Las Casas might only be 13, but she's accomplished a lot more than your average adult! With a cookbook series and weekly radio show, the young chef counts Aaron Sanchez, Andrew Zimmern and Wendy Williams among fans. This week, she'll be working with Dove for their 4th Annual Dove Self-Esteem Weekend event, which partners with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Girls Inc. and Girl Scouts to improve the self-esteem of young girls all over the nation. 

The kick-off event, held at the Empire State building, will feature Eliana's custom menu. The event will also be joined by Katie Couric. For her amazing work ethic, passion and involvement in philanthropy, Eliana is this week's Inspiring Latina!

Tell us a bit more about your background. 

I am from New Orleans, and I am half Latina. My abuela is Honduran and my papi was Cuban. My background includes Filipino, Cajun, Honduran, and Cuban.

How did you get started cooking? What was your inspiration?

I started cooking when I was four years old. At eight years old, I started food blogging and creating cooking tutorials for kids on YouTube. When I was ten years old, I was chosen as one of thirteen Latinos in the New Orleans area to be featured at a museum exhibit at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans. That was when I debuted my first cookbook, Eliana Cooks! Recipes for Creative Kids. At twelve years old, I came out with my second cookbook, Cool Kids Cook: Louisiana, the first in the series Cool Kids Cook. My third cookbook, Cool Kids Cook: Fresh & Fit, the second in the series Cool Kids Cook, releases in spring 2014. I also have a weekly web radio show on VoiceAmerica Kids, part of the VoiceAmerica Network which is the internet’s largest talk/radio network.

I grew up in a family of cooks. My family is very inspiring. I am always around food and in the kitchen. I always wanted to write cookbooks. My family really encouraged me and helped me to get my first cookbook published.

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Samantha Leal, Deputy Editor

Sam edits and oversees all site content with a focus on fashion, beauty and lifestyle. When she's not working, you can find her watching way too many YouTube videos and reading (YA novels, mostly). Follow her on Twitter @samanthajoleal.

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