WAUWATOSA,WI— A 13-year-old with a bright smile adjusts her chef’s hat and apron. In her YouTube videos, she stands by a table with bowls, food items, and other cooking equipment. In a big voice, she greets viewers.
“Hi, welcome to Cooking with Kitty!” Kitty Storey says.
The chef debuted her cooking channel on YouTube channel titled “Cooking with Kitty” after the pandemic shut down Longfellow Middle School.
Storey, who has down syndrome and autism, takes special education classes. Her mother, Kim Storey, said that after schools closed, Kitty’s teacher sent home the homework for the girl’s independent living skills class. When school was in-person, students would go grocery shopping and cook up what they purchased.
Part of the homework assignments the teacher sent home were recipes. The Storey family created videos to prove she completed her assignments.
“The more we did the videos, they became cute. I started uploading them on Facebook and people said I should turn them into a YouTube channel,” Storey told Patch.
“Cooking with Kitty” is uploaded weekly and now has 30 videos for viewers. Kitty has made casseroles, cookies, pizza, bread, and other specialty dishes. Kitty’s dad, Dan Storey, who is in a majority of videos, is a self-taught cook.
In one episode, Kitty made a rainbow pride cake with the help of her two uncles.
“I think that is our most popular video at this point,” Kim Storey said.
Another video is with Kitty’s older sister and her dog making dog treats. The latest upload had a special guest, Kitty’s best friend named Allie.
“We made lunch,” Kitty said about the episode.
Kitty told Patch she has also made grilled cheese sandwiches and enchiladas. Kitty’s favorite episode was making the pride cake and she is looking forward to making red-stripe Jamaican jerk chicken with her dad.
When she is not cooking, the teen enjoys playing a video game called “Just Dance”, her Barbies and watching “Bob’s Burgers.”
Learning new skills
The family are big supporters of The Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin (DSAW). When Storey was pregnant and found out her diagnosis, she said she got “I’m sorry” looks from people.
“When I called DSAW, that was the first time someone said congratulations,” Storey said.
The couple felt supported and continue to praise DSAW.
Storey has heard positive feedback from other mothers of children with dual diagnoses about the videos. One mother from Connecticut with a nonverbal son watched the show. Storey said the mother tried cooking with her son who is now trying to verbalize words.
“I bawled, it got me,” she said.
Storey added as long as people are enjoying the videos and helping others, “Cooking with Kitty” will continue.
See more videos on the the Cooking with Kitty” YouTube channel.