Logan Guleff, a 10-year-old culinary wunderkind from Memphis, will represent the state of Tennessee at the inaugural Kids' State Dinner hosted by first lady Michelle Obama on August 20th. His recipe for Tuna Schooners — which includes ingredients from all four food groups — was one of 54 recipes selected from more than 1,200 submissions in the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. We sat down to find out how Logan feels about his upcoming trip to Washington, D.C., and how he came up with the winning recipe.
— Hannah Sayle
Flyer: So what is a tuna schooner?
Logan Guleff: A Tuna Schooner is tuna salad put in a half of a little pepper with a lettuce leaf sail on top.
When did you get interested in cooking?
When I was 2, I made my mom's coffee. It started as just putting the filter in, putting the water and the coffee in, then turning it on and letting it brew. Then I sort of advanced into pancakes and eggs, and I'm trying to learn how to grill.
How did you come up with this recipe?
We had to use a whole grain, a protein, some fruit and vegetables, and a dairy product for the challenge. So we [Logan and his mom] went with tuna as our protein. We tried salmon. Oh God. Not good. Not good at all. Tuna was definitely the way to go.
We added quinoa to our tuna salad because we needed a whole grain, and then we added cucumber and onions and celery and pepper. We wanted to use mayonnaise, but it had to be healthy, so we used light mayonnaise. Then we were thinking about how to serve it, and my aunt thought we should stuff them in a pepper. We paired it with a glass of milk and served it with seasonal fruit.
Why do you think eating from all four food groups is important?
It helps you stay healthy and fit and control your weight. And it makes you healthier so you can play longer and ride on your bike more.
This isn't your first recipe submission for a contest. Can you tell us about the Chomp Burger?
The Chomp Burger, my first recipe that we entered into a contest, is an Asian-inspired turkey burger with broccoli slaw. It's a tad bit spicy. It was for the Jif "Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest." I won a trip to New York and a really cool gift basket and $2,500.
Do you want to be a chef when you grow up?
Yes. And an oceanographer and a garbage man and an astronaut and an Olympian.
What are you most excited about for your visit to Washington?
I'm most excited about getting a tour of Julia Child's kitchen in the Smithsonian. We'll also tour the vegetable garden [at the White House], and they'll probably take us through the house. And there's a pizza party and tour around Washington. My new challenge is to climb all the way up the Washington monument.
What does the future hold for you?
I made a spice rub, and I'm packaging and selling it. We use it on a flat-iron steak, marinated in molasses, garlic, and lime juice. Then you sprinkle the rub on, generously. Of course, it has to be generously.