Restaurant Impossible - Horton's Kids - OPEN

Horton's Kids Restaurant Impossible

In this Restaurant Impossible episode, Chef Robert Irvine visits Horton's Kids, a children's community centre in Washington DC, that provides meals to under privileged children and cooking classes.

In this special episode, Robert teams up with First Lady Michelle Obama to help improve the Horton's Kids centre, run by Brenda Chamberlain and her team of volunteers.

The centre is located in an under resourced neighbourhood where it is considered a food desert and food options are limited to one corner store.

Each day the centre serves around 100 healthy meals to kids in the area and has a community room to help with family outreach.

But demand has meant that they have outgrown their current space, they have no room for storage and not enough equipment to cook due to a faulty oven.

They also don't have indoor dining facilities so the children are forced to eat outside whatever the weather.

Robert arrives to a packet from The Whitehouse and inside is a message from Michelle Obama asking him to help her take on one of the hardest missions in America to help children to eat well and be healthy.

She has three assignments for him - to create a dining room, an updated kitchen and to build a community garden. He is also invited to the White House to see their community garden.

After the message Robert is excited to get started and meets with Brenda, who gives him a tour of the facility.

She explains that not all of the equipment works in the kitchen and some of it is too small.

The sofa area is multi purpose and it is all open plan. Next to this is an ancient computer station, within close proximity of both the sofa area and kitchen.

Robert wants to see the food that they serve and Dan explains that it comes in premade and packaged and they keep it warm in a food server until they are ready to serve to the children.

He meets with the children to discuss what food they do and don't like. Between them they like hardly anything! Ha!

Robert realises that there is just no space to do what he needs to do so he asks if there is any more space available and Brenda tells him that there is an adjoining property.

The landlord has offered them this property on a few occasions but they have declined as they didn't have the resources to be able to expand and get it functioning.

They take a look but it hasn't been inhabited in a long time with boarded up windows but a huge space.

Robert meets with Cheryl and Tom to give them a tour of the building and tells them of the challenges from Michelle Obama. He also shows them the room next door with no power but lots of space.

He takes a sledgehammer to the wall, missing a pipe by inches and Tom is sceptical of the work involved to take out the wall.

Volunteer Julie tells that they have made use of what they have but she wants to do more and is excited as it has been the dream for a long time to be able to do more.

Robert tells Brenda that there is no green space on the property to be able to make a garden and asks if there is anywhere nearby that he would be able to make a garden.

He meets with the designers and outlines his ideas of knocking through the wall and wants bright, rainbow colours for the walls.

Next Robert meets with Chef Sam Kass to discuss the garden and how to make a sustainable garden like the one they have at the White House.

He advises to plant in thin lines so the children can pick the produce without having to stand on the garden and plant seasonally to make the most of the garden.

Robert returns and outlines further plans for moving the computer room and meeting room into seperate rooms.

Brenda tells him that she has found a space for the garden in a local school, within walking distance from the centre and meets with farmer Lee Jones to outline plans for the garden.

Cheryl tells Robert the plans for the decor with plenty of bright colours and the children are helping Lee to plant the garden.

He meets with Tom who tells him the huge job that is needed to remove the wall including rerouting numerous pipes. The water main wasn't turned off properly so there was a big water leak when they cut into a pipe and they have to turn water off at the mains cutting off other apartments.

Robert is under pressure and another message appears from Michelle who adds one more mission - to turn fresh vegetables into dishes that the kids will love.

Robert checks on the progress of all of the projects and it is all progressing well and Lee introduces a cycle propogation system to water the plants.

Tom has discovered that some of the pipes are clogged so he has to clean them as well as moving them.

Robert creates new menus with hidden vegetables for the new mission given to him and Brenda reveals that a board member has secured new computers for the computer room.

The staff and volunteers are first show the centre and they are overwhelmed with the changes with a new lounge, office, activity centre, spacious open kitchen, large dining area, computer room and meeting room.

The children arrive and love the new lounge area and Robert gets a call that Michelle is on her way to the community garden and he goes to meet her.

Michelle is the first to pedal on the bicycle to water the plants and is impressed with the garden. She arrives at the centre and is impressed with the work that Robert has done.

In the dining room the children are enjoying a healthy, warm meal packed with vegetables and the whole team is introduced to Michelle and Brenda.

Michelle is pleased and tells Robert that he has achieved all of the tasks that she wanted him to achieve and one of the children agrees with an A+ grade awarded!


What Happened Next at Horton's Kids?

Since Robert's visit, they are offering more cooking classes in the kitchen and the families are enjoying dining together.

They are growing fresh veg in the garden, have started a gardening club and the computers are improving the computer skills in the local community.


Recipes in this episode

Vegetable Pizza

Grilled Watermelon Basil Mint Smoothie

Horton's Kids was Restaurant Impossible season 3 episode 13 and aired on June 13 2012

Click for more Restaurant Impossible Restaurants

Previous episode - Pollard's Bar-B-Que

Next episode - Longbranch Steak and Seafood

This post was last updated in February 2020.


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