Gabriel Evan Bandera

Name: Gabriel Evan Bandera

Age: 11

Title: Winner of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Walk On! Kids Cooking Challenge 2018 and Future Chef

City you live in: Avondale

A typical day in my life includes…

I wake up, say good morning to my pet lizard, then I eat breakfast and get ready for school. I have play rehearsal before school, then I go to school until 4:00 then come home to do homework. In addition to cooking, in my free time, I like to write stories or song lyrics, watch the Food Network, play video games and do magic tricks.

I was born…

in Phoenix on February 11, 2007.

My favorite thing about Arizona…

is all the friends I have made here. Although my family travels a lot, I have never lived anywhere other than Arizona. I have made great friendships and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

I’m listening to…

a cappella groups and the Hamilton soundtrack. I love Pentatonix, they make great holiday songs and Hamilton, the Broadway musical, is a favorite of my family. We love those songs.

My family…

is awesome. We like to hang out together, watch movies and play games. My mom, dad, and brother are always there for me. They are caring, loving and kind.

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

Bobby Flay! I love all the shows on Food Network, but my number one favorite is undoubtably Beat Bobby Flay. I have always wanted to meet him in person. He was a big inspiration and part of the reason I entered – and won – the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Walk On! Kids Cooking Contest last year.

One thing I cannot live without…

is my friends and family. I am so grateful for my family. They are sweet, loving and better than anything anyone could ever ask for. My friends and family have supported me through cooking the whole time and I can’t say how thankful I am.

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

a superhero. What? It would be cool!

I’m inspired by…

the arts! I am inspired whenever I turn on cooking shows or whenever I hear a great piece of music. Other people’s creative ideas inspire and motivate me to make my own creative ideas and try my best.

The one person who motivates me is…

there are three people (and two lizards) that motivate me. They are my mom, dad and brother. They are kind and always want to help others in times of need and make me want to be the best that I can be and make the world a better place. My pet lizards are also great motivators – and make me want to do nothing but watch them.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

to have world peace! Honestly! Why can’t we all just get along?

The perfect day would be…

getting invited to be on Chopped Junior! I have always wanted to be on a Food Network show and I think Chopped Jr. is the show I’d most want to be on. I love to choose random ingredients in my head and think of how they could fit together into a dish. I also like doing mini Chopped competitions with my brother at home.

My first job was…

cleaning my room, but one day I want to be a chef!

My favorite escape…

is going to the beach in Spain. We go there every other year because we have family there. We enjoy relaxing and eating the seafood!

My life…

is awesome because I have a loving family and great friends.

I’m currently working on…

creating my own video game.

Always…

follow your dreams, no matter what anybody tells you.

Never…

say no to your mom.

Favorite Quote…

I want someone who will look at me the same way I look at chocolate cake.” – unknown

Biggest Dream…

to own a restaurant. I want to work my way up until I have enough money to create my own restaurant and put all sorts of delicious stuff on the menu!

My Pet Peeve(s)…

when people text chain letters. It is really, really, rrreeeaaalllyyy annoying.



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