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Scott Gottlich, Lynae Fearing , & Kent Rathbun with Watson Technology Center student of Garland ISD.

The Dallas Arboretum’s newly lauded Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is the inspiration for Gardenlicious, a healthy kids cook-off contest on Sunday, June 29 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Camp House. Highlighting the Incredible Edible Garden gallery in the Children’s Garden, kid chefs can select at least one ingredient that grows there to create their culinary creation (snack, dessert, entrée, etc.) that will be judged by local food celebrities.

Chairwoman Carol Pierce Goglia has enlisted the help of beloved star chefs of Dallas Kent Rathbun of Abacus and Scott Gottlich of Bijoux, and restaurateur Lynae Fearing of Shinsei to judge the children’s culinary submissions. Then tables will turn when the kids become the jury as they test and critique the offerings of the three celebrity judges.

Gardenlicious is free to enter for children in grades 1 through 8. The deadline for recipe submissions is June 8. Submissions can be made online or by mail to Angela Rollins, Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, TX 75218. More information can be found online at

Goglia said, “Whether as a group representing their school, with a sibling or friend looking for fun, or as an individual who wants to exercise his/her creativity in the kitchen, young students should enter something delicious AND nutritious.” 

All of the participating judges have children and are excited to be part of this event. “Anything you can do to get children excited about where food comes from is worth taking time for,” said Gottlich, father of two young sons. “We have a garden at our house, and I love to watch the girls be involved in planting and helping pick vegetables.”

Fearing, mother of two teenage boys, said, “It is important for my boys to learn where food comes from, especially as not all of it comes from the store. By preparing healthy food, children get used to eating healthfully.”

Rathbun, who also has children, recently planted a garden at his home. “Food from the garden is the most wholesome. It’s less expensive to grow food than go out and buy it. We also want kids to understand the importance of nutritious food.” 

Goglia added, “With all the focus on cooking, we have also named Cecile Bonte the Honorary Chair of the event—not just because she led the effort in raising the millions to build the Children’s Garden as the Capital Campaign Chairwoman, but because she is an extraordinary cook. Plan to come honor Cecile, be treated by the celebrity chefs, and cheer on the kids cooks.”

Audience tickets are free for kid chefs and their parents, $5 for Arboretum members and $8 for non-members. Contributor tickets are $30 to help support Children’s Garden programs.

About the Dallas Arboretum and the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden:

Located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake, the Dallas Arboretum is among the leading display gardens in the country, set among 66 acres at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas, 75218. The internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is an 8-acre interactive garden designed specifically to address state and national education standards in life, earth and environmental science. Children and adults learn about life and earth science in the 17 galleries that teach the areas in the K-6 grade curriculum standards that can best be taught outdoors. These include photosynthesis, pollination, the solar system, erosion, energy and more. For more information, call 214.515.6500 or visit the Arboretum’s website at

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