While most five-star culinary conquerors rely on a competent sous chef to help create their delicious dishes, few have one that's not old enough to drive.
Meet Top Chef Season 4 winner Stephanie Izard's new sidekick, 11-year-old Marley, a dreadlocked sixth grader who is logging some serious kitchen time in Stephanie's restaurant, Girl and the Goat.
According to the Huffington Post, the unlikely pair met through the charity Common Threads, which teaches lower-income kids how to make healthy, wholesome meals. The project was launched by Top Chef guest Art Smith, and now boasts programs in Washington, D.C., Miami, and Los Angeles as well as Chicago.
"I've wanted to be a chef since I was two years old" Marley tells HuffPo. "Ever since I saw Emeril on TV. I worked at Girl and the Goat over the summer, plating foods. I learned how to make mango lassi."
This week, Marley and Stephanie teamed up again for annual Common Threads World Festival 2011 event at Soldier Field, serving up dishes alongside 70 other chefs. But the middle schooler isn't stopping there -- he'll test his mettle in a cooking competition later this month, and help his parents open a raw vegan eatery in Chicago, B'Gabs Goodies.
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