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November’s Cover Story: Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine

Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine with Chef Chad JohnsonWhen we think of Thanksgiving, we think of family, friends and FOOD! This is why we decided to do something a little different and put a parent and child on this month’s cover.  Of course, with food in mind, the first parent to grace our cover is a giant in the Tampa Bay (and far beyond) food scene and an amazing dad.

Chad Johnson has collected many professional accolades in the kitchen as Executive Chef of Epicurean Hotel, Haven, and Elevage Restaurants and was even named as a James Beard Semi-Finalist for Best Chef in the South in 2012 and 2014.  But a much more important accolade is that he’s a pretty awesome dad of two little girls, 3-year-old Addyson and baby Harper.

On a typical Sunday night, Chef Chad says you’ll usually find him in the kitchen at home with his Sous Chef, Addyson prepping meals for the week. “She can pick the herbs and she likes to dump the spices in the pan and stir everything. Sometimes it ends up on the floor, but it’s fun.” Her favorite thing to cook with her dad? Pasta, of course!

Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine with Chef Chad JohnsonTampa Bay Parenting Magazine with Chef Chad JohnsonWith a well-known chef as a father, Addyson has developed quite a palate, but don’t worry…she’s just like most other kids her age. “There’s no rhyme or reason, some days her favorite thing is sweet potatoes and the next day she doesn’t want a sweet potato.”

He says the key to developing your child’s palate is simple, let them try everything.

“Don’t underestimate the palate kids can have. From my experience with my daughter, she eats what we eat. When we have sushi night, we let her try it. She still hasn’t developed a palate for raw fish, but she loves soy sauce. When we have Indian food, she sits down and eats tikka masala with us.”Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine with Chef Chad Johnson

We asked Chef Chad what Thanksgiving is like in his house and if he has any Thanksgiving traditions.  He says that Thanksgiving in the Johnson household is just like the rest of us – they divide and conquer helping with the kids and the food.  And he has a great tradition to share. “Since I was a little kid, to get me and the other kids when we were younger to eat stuffing, my aunt would bake stuffing in cupcake molds. I still love them because when you bake them in those molds, you get the crispy edges and soft center.” Yum.

Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine with Chef Chad JohnsonSince we’re celebrating Thanksgiving, we asked several local chefs, including Chef Johnson, to share their Thanksgiving side dish recipes.  In following pages, you’ll also learn more about local charities that allow the whole family to volunteer together and some helpful tips on babyproofing during the holidays.

Thank you to Darlene Barlows Photography for capturing these beautiful images of Johnson and his family.

Click here to read our digital issue. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue! Happy Thanksgiving!

-The Tampa Bay Parenting Team

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