Video: Empanadas by a 10-year-old chef!

Grayson Graynor is passionate about gastronomy. At age 10, she says cooking makes her life more fun.

When I cook something, I’m excited to see the reaction of other people when they try my dishes,” she says. 

Photo, story & video by Vanessa Aguirre

This time, the little chef challenged herself with a traditional Latino dish: empanadas. With the help of her Latina babysitter, she not only learned how to make empanadas, it felt like a cultural achievement. She sees gastronomy as a pathway to appreciating many cultures.

“Knowing the gastronomy of other cultures,” she says, “is important.”

Before watching the video of our recipe, here’s a little more information about this dish.

The history behind the empanada

In the Middle Ages, the empanada was a way of preserving meat, since cooking the meat inside a flour pocket conserved it for several days.

In time, several countries adopted empanadas as a breakfast food, a snack or an entire dinner. You can now find them all over the Americas, as well as in European countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Other places around the globe that have their own versions of the empanada include Russia, Turkey, China, Japan, and Korea. Each is prepared differently—sometimes with meat, chicken, rice, vegetables, or cheese. They are also sold as fast food, a source of income for many people.




Traditional empanadas from Colombia


[Makes 5 empanadas]

  • 4 medium russet potatoes
1 medium onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • Half a cup of cornmeal or flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil

-When you add water to the flour, it should be homogeneous, neither sticky nor liquid.

-Check the potatoes with a knife. Once you feel that they are soft, it is time to mash them.


Hogao: A Colombian word used in its gastronomy to describe the result of frying finely chopped onions and tomatoes.


Now, you have more knowledge about empanadas. Enjoy our video with little chef Grayson!

—Vanessa Aguirre

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