An Author’s Gifts

Nick Katsoris writes books and creates contests that help kids make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others

Mar 22, 2013 | By Elizabeth Winchester
GERARDO MORA—GETTY IMAGES FOR NK PUBLICATION, INC.

Iron Chef Cat Cora poses with Grace LaFountain, the winner of the Loukoumi's Celebrity Cookbook 'Favorite Childhood Recipe' contest, and Loukoumi author Nick Katsoris at Cora's restaurant Kouzzina at The Walt Disney World resort, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Loukoumi is a traditional Greek candy that is chewy and covered with powdered sugar. It is also the name of the main character, a fluffy little lamb, in books for kids by Nick Katsoris!

The five books in the series “are all about teaching kids to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others,” Katsoris told TFK. Katsoris leads by example, giving some of the money that he makes from selling the books to charities such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Chefs for Humanity, a group that aims to reduce global hunger.

Through annual contests, Katsoris provides kids with many opportunities. The Growing Up With Loukoumi Dream Day Contest, inspired by the second book in the series, gives kids the chance to try their dream careers for a day. Make a Difference With Loukoumi Day, inspired by the third book, encourages kids to do good deeds on National Make a Difference Day in October. Last year Katsoris says more than 20,000 kids participated.

Loukoumi’s Celebrity Cookbook, which features recipes from Bailee Madison, Beyoncé, Eli Manning and more than 50 other celebrities, included a “Favorite Childhood Recipe” Contest. Grace LaFountain, 8, won the chance to cook with world-class chef Cat Cora. An anti-bullying book, which will likely include a challenge for kids, is due out next fall. Find information about upcoming contests on loukoumi.com.

“I was very blessed to have several great role models in my life who encouraged me to pursue my writing and to believe in myself,” Katsoris explains. “It is so rewarding to be able to do that for children through my books and the contests modeled after the [books’] lessons.”

Click here to read recipes from Bailee Madison and Eli Manning, as seen in Loukoumi’s Celebrity Cookbook.