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Haute Kiddie Cuisine at the Hungry Pea 

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Thanks to TV shows such as "MasterChef Junior" and "Kids Baking Championship," young people today are more culinary-savvy than ever. They — and their parents — are the target audience for South Burlington resident Maja Novovic's upscale kids' catering business, The Hungry Pea, which she started in 2017. The seed for the company was planted four years ago, when Novovic decided to leave her job as a product developer at Burton to pursue her passion for food. She attended the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, cooked at the now-closed South End Kitchen in Burlington, and worked as kitchen manager at Healthy Living Market & Café in South Burlington. Novovic — who isn't a mom herself but has plenty of friends and family members who are — said she always noticed parents standing around awkwardly, and leaving hungry, at young kids' birthday parties. "I always felt like, if there was a little table set up for parents, it could start conversation," she explains. To that end, she creates kids' birthday party menus that also cater to adults — offering similar dishes for both groups but a more sophisticated presentation and taste, plus an additional salad or side dish, for the older set. Her approach is taking classic kids' foods and making them more interesting, she explains, and she prepares everything — from bread to ketchup — from scratch. Popular dishes include tempura strawberry pops, Japanese-style French toast and an interactive caramel-apple stand. She also offers cooking classes for kids of all ages. During a recent one, homemade pasta and deconstructed s'mores were on the menu.

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