Friday, August 20, 2010

Jr Cuisine Cooking Show DEBUTS AUG. 28 ON WYCC-TV/CHANNEL 20

Cast members of the Jr. Cuisine Cooking Show came down to Buckingham Fountain in Chicago to film the program’s opening theme song & title sequence. (Photo by Brad)

Cherise, D’Shaun, Alexis & Kierra Ragland, creators of the Jr. Cuisine Cooking Show, with the production crew, in front of the program’s van. The show premieres Saturday morning, August 28, 11:00 AM, on WYCC-TV/Channel 20. (Photo by Brad)
Kids love eating, singing, dancing, and watching television. Put them all together and you have the broadcasting brainstorm of the Ragland family of Palos Park, Illinois. When daughter Kierra displayed a passion for cooking at 7 years old, watching the famous TV chefs, and helping out in the kitchen, parents Cherise and D’Shaun searched for fun and educational programs directed at children displaying the same enthusiasm as Kierra. Finding none, they founded USA Cooking Camps, Inc., in 2007.
    The Raglands developed their idea into a proposal for a children’s television series centering on the culinary arts, nutrition, safety, and sanitation. Add a huge helping of bright, attractive, talented kids singing and dancing and you have the makings of a hit children’s television series!
    In March of this year, the Raglands packaged their proposal and took it to public television. The response was positive, so the Raglands marketed it through facebook, recruiting kids who like to cook, can sing, dance, and act. More than 1,600 children responded. The Raglands assembled a panel of judges who winnowed the number of applicants to 200 and they invited these prospects to an audition at Macy’s Department Store in downtown Chicago. They called back 80 for a second audition to fill the 16 cast positions.
    The concept is cooking with cultural diversity, so they selected Indians, Asians, Hispanics, African Americans, and Caucasians for the cast. There are actually three groupings within the cast: five members of the Cooking Cast – Ariana, Ari, Brittney, Valen, and Jeremiah. They will be joined each week by special guest chefs to help them prepare the dishes. Then there are six Field Correspondents: Roni, Tier, Anthony, Tuuli, Grace, Joey, and Deanna, who go out on location to restaurants, cooking schools, farms, etc., and prepare reports for broadcast on the show. They also answer cooking and food questions from viewers.
    Third, there is the Jr. Cuisine Band: Zaphora, Lucient, DaQuan, Charlotte, and Tier. They provide the show’s music for the song and dance numbers, plus the theme song and title sequence.
    In the first episode of the Premiere Season, airing Saturday, August 28, 11:00 AM, on WYCC-TV/Channel 20, Brittney, 13; Valen, 12; and Ariana, 13, take over the studio kitchen to prepare Totally Terrific Taco Lasagna, plus Fruit-filled Empanadas for dessert.
    Ari, 11, formerly a resident of Chicago’s West Side Austin neighborhood, is appearing in The Spice Game, a segment teaching children about herbs, seasonings, and spices in a game show format. She says she started cooking at 4 years old with her grandmother, who makes her own chicken noodle soup from scratch.
    Jeremiah, 12, a member of the Cooking Cast, also appears on The Spice Game segment, helps prepare the Dessert Empanadas, and is a dancer in the show’s musical numbers. He says he likes making Spaghetti and Macaroni & Cheese.
    D’Shaun Ragland is the show’s Producer, having been involved in the music industry. He directs the Jr. Cuisine Band, writing all of the music and songs for the show. Liz Sharp of De Moines, Iowa, is Co-producer. Cherise and D’Shaun’s daughter Alexis wrote the Theme Song and the Safety Song. There are about 25 people on the program’s production staff, including Landis, the Make-up Artist. The show has been rehearsing and filming at WYCC studios at Kennedy-King College, and is moving to Kenwood Studios in downtown Chicago.
The Jr. Cuisine Cooking Show is contracted for 13 episodes in the first season. If ratings are good, the Raglands then look to go into national syndication. So, gather your children around the TV Saturday morning, August 28, at 11:00 AM, and tune in The Jr. Cuisine Cooking Show on WYCC/Channel 20. For more information, check out the website at There are also sponsorship, product placement, and advertising opportunities available by calling 630/551-8722.

1 comment:

  1. Please Jr. Cuisine Cooking show I love food please bring kids cooking show auditions in 2012 Lansing Michigan. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!