Vail Valley kid chef joins Brazilian food initiative

Nicholas Hornbostel spent two weeks in Brazil last June, helping to cook over 1,500 meals in its Rio de Janeiro central kitchen.
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Local kid chef Nicholas Hornbostel was looking for something a little different to do this summer that would bring together his kitchen skills but also let him give back to his native country of Brazil.

Several years ago, Hornbostel’s life was changed forever right after he moved to the Vail Valley from Brazil, when he was invited to a State Dinner with First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. That experience solidified his passion for cooking and for the power of food to bridge across cultures, to connect people and to bring happiness to the world. Not long after that, he went on to represent Eagle County in two Food Network TV shows, Rachel Ray’s Kids Cookoff, Food Network’s Star Kids and working with Keystone Ski Resort in food events for families.

Now going into his senior year at Vail Christian High School, Hornbostel was invited to join an amazing food-related initiative in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro.

Gastromotiva was founded in 2016 on the concept of feeding the underprivileged with dignity. The brainchild of a local Brazilian chef with support from world-famous Italian chef Massimo Bottura, the organization works with the local community in Brazil to create a location where people from neighboring favelas can come to eat a three-course meal prepared with ingredients that would otherwise be sent to landfill. They also cook close to 500 meals a day that are packed and distributed in these communities. The concept is similar to that of chef Jose Andreas’ World Kitchen: using products that are still fresh but might have passed their expiration date to produce healthy and delicious food.

As a Gastromotiva ambassador, Hornbostel spent two weeks in Brazil last June, helping to cook over 1,500 meals in its Rio de Janeiro central kitchen, housed in a renovated old building. Working alongside people from the underserved Rio communities, he saw too what they had learned. Gastromotiva also has a cooking school on-site to train kids who want to start a career in the food industry.

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Cut Butcher meats served with chimichurri sauce
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In his ongoing mission as an ambassador, Hornbostel has spent the rest of his summer catering in the valley and donating a portion of his earnings to Gastromotiva, while promoting the organization’s goals to the US public. His favorite dishes to cook for his clients are South American staples ranging from moqueca (a coconut, seafood stew) to Cut Butcher meats served with chimichurri sauce, heart of palm salad, Brazilian rice and beans, and churros for dessert. Hornbostel can be reached at or 970-376-0056.

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