Restaurant Revisited: Horton’s Kids

by in Shows, June 13th, 2012

In a special episode of Restaurant: Impossible, Robert Irvine faced his toughest challenge yet when First Lady Michelle Obama assigned him the task of rebuilding Horton’s Kids, a children’s community center that provides many services such as serving after-school meals in one of Washington, D.C.’s neediest neighborhoods. Mrs. Obama gave Robert three missions: Give Horton’s Kids a dining room, update their kitchen and create a community garden for them.

A few months after Robert’s Restaurant: Impossible-style transformation of Horton’s Kids, we checked in with Executive Director Brenda Chamberlain to see how the organization is doing. “Everyone loves and is impressed with the new, transformed Horton’s Kids!” says Brenda. “The vibrant space establishes a sense of community for the children.”

Robert Irvine and Horton's Kids

The brand-new kitchen and dining area have enabled Horton’s Kids to run cooking classes and hands-on nutrition programs more effectively. “During a recent class, we had kids sautéing vegetables, making omelets on the stovetop and blending fruit smoothies — all simultaneously,” says Brenda.

The dining/all-purpose room allows kids to sit down and share their meals together. Thanks to the collapsible tables and hang-able chairs, staff and volunteers have flexibility to arrange the space to meet the needs of various programs outside of meal times. The children love having a nice indoor space where they can hang out, chat with their friends and do homework. The computer lab that Microsoft donated has helped to bridge the technical divide often found in the Horton’s Kids community.

Planting Horton's Kids garden

In the garden, early summer vegetables are growing nicely. Horton’s Kids has started a children’s gardening club: “Kids are taking great pride in the garden,” says Brenda. The irrigation bike has proven to be a fun, creative way to engage the children in gardening, and they’re enjoying it “tremendously.”

After hearing the First Lady talk about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, the children are getting more adventurous and trying new kinds of produce. “They also enjoy knowing that they are growing vegetables and herbs they can eat,” Brenda says. In an upcoming class, the kids will be using the fresh basil to make pesto.

The future looks bright for Horton’s Kids: “With the help of our amazing volunteers and donors, the new space will soon allow us to serve many more children.”

To find out how you can make a difference in the lives of these children, visit

For a closer look at the transformation of Horton’s Kids, check out our photo gallery of Robert’s mission from the White House.

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Comments (619)

  1. deb says:

    Instead of bringing the kids in and teaching them about nutrition,etc. I think the parents are the ones who should be brought in and shown how to budget and provide menus and teach cooking to them.Most of the parents either don't know how to cook or are too lazy to do it.Maybe some just don't know so they must be taught.Let them become accountable for their own children and households.If govt. assistance is involved then it should be earned.

    • nightlilies says:

      I agree completely with having the parents taught alongside their children. I also agree with the idea that if their is govt. assitance, then it should be earned.

  2. An American citizen says:

    My heart breaks for all those that gave their lives to make us free. America really has degenerated into a sad, divided, shadow of it's former self. Nothing is positive unless your party came up with the idea. Respect for the office only exists if the person you voted for holds it. No other show in this fun series has generated PAGES of comment and the level of hatred in some are simply astonishing. Anyone who saw this TELEVISION SHOW as anything other than entertainment that spotlighted an effort to make the lives of a few American children better needs to look into their souls and ask themselves why. Shame on you all.

  3. Aissa says:

    I cannot believe the hate in some of these comments. Really? Keep it to yourself, no one wants to hear your rants. I cannot believe these are Americans talking about other Americans, no wonder the rest of the world thinks so poorly of us. I bet most of the horrible comments were left by people that go to church every Sunday and claim to be Christians. Disgusting.

    • Lchapman says:

      I sure hope not….I know that true Christians would not comment like that…God tells us to help the poor. I know that sometimes even poor people are poor because they mismanage their money so it give the really poor people a bad name. But just the same I would still feed anyone that didn't have food to eat.

  4. Alisha says:

    people who says the phone was not a prepaid, their cheaper than buying vegies. Ten buckes buyes you a phone, and eating at fast food is very cheap and unhealthy. i work at a store and sometimes those food stampes don't last long against a five dollar vegetable. SO GIVE THEM A BREAK!!

  5. Steve says:

    Who ran up the other 2/3?

  6. Joe says:

    Celeste, do you live on Mars?

  7. David says:

    Your entire post was a bunch of bull so rather then go through the long process of showing why it's a load of garbage I'll sum it up in one sentence. You're an idiot and a typical totally blind, deluded republican zombie.

  8. Aaron says:

    Why don't you get a history lesson, We have been a welfare state since the great depression. Countries aren't supposed to be run at a profit. We as a country need to abolish politics.

  9. Christy W says:

    So Celeste, what you are saying is that you never claimed your children on your taxes? If you did, that would be taking a credit. Also you believe that poor people should not have access to a telephone? This is the 21st century and more people opt to have cellphones vs landlines.You can get a non contract phone for approximately $25/month. My house phone cost more than that. Sorry you found the show so offensively political, next time don’t tune in when you will see people doing for others since it only makes you angry!

  10. Truth says:

    You, Celeste, are a sad little woman. Look in the mirror and ask yourself how many people you could have helped during the time it took you to write that diatribe. When we are all long gone, people will still be remembering the differences that Horton's Kids made, and no one will remember you and the lack of change or impact that you had in this world. Enjoy your non-existent existence. The anger that divides you from the rest of the country is the problem, NOT the solution.

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