The uncertainty brought by year of covid-19 was unprecedented and affected everyone alike. A loss of creative zeal was experienced by several people. But midst the gloom of lost lives and suffering, spirit of community shined in a crystalline light. Talking of which, a dad-daughter duo introduced their scrumptious cooking to the virtual world.
Dan Storey, a scientific chef from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin is natively famous for his chili recipes. He boasts several awards, cook offs and is a self-taught chef. However, Mr. Storey’s refined talent is not the main highlight, the spotlight is concentrated at his young teen daughter, Kitty. She has brandished a YouTube channel, named ‘Cooking with Kitty’ featuring multifarious dishes.
The Dad-Daughter duo carries out their kitchen experiments on this channel. Kitty’s raw talent for cooking has outshined her dual diagnosis for Down syndrome and Autism. Kitty’s premature feelings for cooking began with her class of independent living skills class in school which was an occupational therapy directed at better functioning of motor responses. Kitty overtook great responsibility and interest in grocery shopping, cooking. They went grocery shopping and bought ingredients to make food from scratch.
As COVID situation restricted access, Kitty and her family channeled her creative potential to a virtual platform. They began this project in April 2020. Kitty’s fun personality and good sense of humor was cherry on top. After receiving positive responses on some of her videos, the family decided to take it up a notch and begin a YouTube channel for their budding chef.
Kitty’s humble beginning with simple dishes like fruit salad or Swedish meatballs in a crock-pot, took a fancy turn after an ample of episodes, turning her into a pseudo professional. Thanks to her occupational therapist, Storey’s incorporated new skill sets in each video and soon the channel manifested gourmet dishes like Chicken Biryani and Moroccan Chicken Bowls. Kitty’s potential is beyond realization for proud parents.
Post gaining enormous popularity, the family powered through a second season for Cooking with Kitty; however, this wasn’t their biggest feat. Kitty was recognized by local news and The National Down Syndrome Society. Cranky Al’s famous locally, collaborated with Kitty to create the “Kitty Donut” during Down Syndrome Awareness Month to raise awareness. They were sold in thousands. Kitty’s mother shared her overwhelmed gratitude towards community for welcoming her daughter so warmly.
Kim shared story of a fellow mother who received help in her son’s journey with non-verbal autism. His eventual use of small words like ‘pot’ and ‘pan’ brought his mother on verge of tears. Kim realizes how kitty’s venture helped in spreading awareness about the unique skill set of people who share similar experiences like her. Cooking with Kitty’ is a team project, where Mother directs, Uncle Shawn develops graphics and kitty kills it with her cool intro.
Collaborations from her loved ones are probably her favorite thing. Her parents have a toss-up over her favorite episode. They are tied between Rainbow Pride Cake with her uncles and Fancy Grilled Cheese with her BFF Allie. Allie has been her friend since they were 3 years old. They end on a happy note that the biggest achievement as parents for the Storey’s was Kitty’s willingness to eat meals she made or participated in making.