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

What do you love to do outside of cooking?

I love reading, listening to music, and hanging out with my friends. I also like to garden and grow my own veggies and herbs. At school, I am the captain of QuizBowl Team and am a member of Builders Club. We make sandwiches for the homeless and perform other community service projects. Of course, I also love hanging out with my fun family.

Do you plan on continuing your culinary education at a culinary school?

I hope to attend NOCCA (New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts), which is a high school that has a four year culinary program. After that, I have my sights set on culinary school, perhaps CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in Hyde Park, New York.

What are your future plans?

In addition to more cookbooks, I want to create a line of spices, create cookware and chef ware for kids, and host my own cooking television show. I love hosting my own weekly radio show too. It allows me to meet so many incredible movers and shakers in the culinary world.

What are your favorite Latin foods?

For dinner, I just ate a Cuban sandwich with homemade mojo-roasted pork. I love maduros, tostones, congri, and tacos. I like to make my own tortillas by hand. Tacos are great because they are so versatile and you can design a simple taco or a gourmet taco. I once had a bulgogi taco, which is Korean barbecue. In my upcoming cookbook, Cool Kids Cook: Fresh & Fit, I have a curry fish taco salad that is delicious.

Find out more about Eliana at And get more info on the Dove Self-Esteem Weekend at