How Michelle Obama’s new Netflix show is priming the palettes of the next generation

New food show Waffles + Mochi blends kids’ education with cooking – all with the help of the esteemed former First Lady.

Culture

A food show for children might not be the first thing you’d have guessed for Michelle Obama and her power move into entertainment. But 10 episodes of a new series have landed on Netflix with Michelle playing daytime host.

At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a revived Sesame Street, but Waffles and Mochi are a wholly different set of loveable puppets. They live in the frozen food section of a grocery store, and to help them tour and understand the different foods elsewhere in the shopping aisles is store owner, and former First Lady herself, Michelle. Touring the shop’s shelves from the trolley, we learn about staple foods, such as tomatoes and mushrooms, and salt and herbs. Waffles and Mochi are transported across the world, from Japan to Peru.

Michelle announced the project on Instagram: “This project is so dear to my heart—it’s something we’ve been working on for a long time, and I couldn’t be more excited for you to watch. I’m also proud that we’re bringing the adventures of @wafflesandmochiofficial right into kitchens all around the country through our Pass the Love campaign.”

Other celebrities are set to join Michelle’s culinary adventure including rapper Common, actor Jack Black and chef Mashama Bailey.

Food, glorious food!

A real foodie, Michelle told Entertainment Weekly about her own favourite meals. “When I'm looking for a little comfort, I can't go wrong with a plate of fried chicken and red rice. One bite and I am instantly transported back to my mother's cooking and our kitchen table on the South Side of Chicago. Finish it off with some red velvet cake, and I'm in heaven.”  

Inspiring a new generation

Waffles + Mochi might seem like an unusual step for Michelle, but she is keen to call it a "natural extension" of her work in the White House and her Let's Move! initiative, which she launched to eliminate obesity in children in a generation. And in terms of priming growing minds, she isn’t stopping there. Watch out for a new young readers’ edition of her global bestselling memoir, Becoming. This adapted version features new photographs and a new introduction from Michelle, designed to inspire and educate young minds.

In the pipeline for the Obamas

What’s next? Back in 2018, signed a ground-breaking multi-million deal with Netflix through their production company, Higher Ground Productions. Expect to see some excellent output, which includes an adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s highly acclaimed novel Exit West, where people can travel via magical doors, a sci-fi film called Satellite, written by Ola Shokunbi, and a feature film about the abolitionist and social reformer Frederick Douglass, subtitled “Prophet of Freedom”.

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