During my second week of internship at Chef Koochooloo, I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with the Idea Generator and Co-founder behind our lively Social Enterprise.
Delarai is certainty the most unique Five year old I ever met. She began her company at age 4, (with the support of her parents, specially her Mom (Layla Sabourian) the Big Chef). After researching it, it seems she is indeed the World’s youngest entrepreneur with actual shares in a C Corp! There is of course, the adorable Joe Jarvis (featured on Huffington Post) who is running his own waste management business, and let’s not forget about the inspiring work of Shravan & Sanjay Kumaran in India.
I am truly amazed to discover Delarai’s commitment to Chef Koochooloo and how much decision making power she holds in the company. Every recipe is personally cooked and tasted by her. She reviews all the fun facts entered into the curriculum. She looks over the math and science (but does not always understand everything), and provides her unique perspective on finding potential ways for kids to get involved in solving worldwide issues.
Delarai received me at her home office in Mountain View and offered me home made veggie chips, and her signature, Persian inspired drink, the “Delarai Temple” . When I asked her for the recipe she explained: “You add sour cherry juice to bubbly water, and put in mint and basil to give it a special flare. Mint is specially good when you have a tummy ache.
Delarai is a busy girl, so after our delicious drinks, she suggested we continue the interview while she showed me a trick or two about making home made chicken wantons. We were aiming for 100 wontons, because Delarai just finished attending 100 days at her Transitional K program at Castro Elementary, and needed to learn how to count up to 100. She explained that due to her ability to speak 4 languages, she has a hard time counting numbers consecutively in English, and she needs to practice.
Delarai confided in me that although she absolutely loves cooking with her mom and teaching other kids about healthy vegetables, Chef Koochooloo does take a lot of her free time. Being an introvert, she often gets shy and tired from being on camera. Her good friends Suren and Darrio Sansore (also passionate foodies) have recently stepped in to share the camera spotlight with her. “You see, that is why it is important to have good friends, so you can have play-dates, and they can help you”.
Overall, Delarai loves her role at the company, and is happy to see her Mom working on Chef Koochooloo instead of her previous job at SAP. (Although she misses the exceptionally good chocolate milk from SAP).
After we reached 39 wontons both in rectangle and oval shapes, Delarai began to get stressed and decided we needed a break. She invited me to the the park and showed me how she normally deals with work related stress.
There are a lot of things I learned from spending time with this amazing 5 year old, I think my biggest take away for the day (other than how to make the world’s most delicious chicken wontons), is to never underestimate the wisdom of children. I had a lot of choices on how to spend my 180 hours this semester, and I am happy I chose Chef Koochooloo, because every day is filled with delicious exciting surprises.