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Vocal toddler chef gives Gordon Ramsay a run for his money

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Vocal toddler chef gives Gordon Ramsay a run for his money

He’s only chopping with butter knives for now, but 3-year-old Ilirian Kameraj is well on his way to mastering the art of cooking.

The tiny chef’s repertoire includes expert-level dishes such as sushi and even a Thanksgiving turkey. Last week, Ilirian even skillfully navigated British chef Gordon Ramsay’s laborious beef Wellington recipe, from the mushroom mash — called duxelle — to the careful assembly of the puffed pastry package.

The young chef also borrowed Ramsay’s penchant for shouting.

The combination proved a winning one as the video has raked in more than 11 million viewers. 

From tacos to tiramisu, Ilirian showcases a range of culinary techniques — with the help of his mom Dorentina, who directs and produces Ilirian’s instructional videos. But his main move? The chop. One clip of his powerful swing while using a produce-chopping gadget has amassed 25 million views on TikTok since first shared in October.

In a more recent update, the pint-sized pastry chef attracted 4 million viewers with his perfectly executed pumpkin pie. (And, yes, he made the crust, too.)

Ilirian, from Great Neck, NY, picked up the rolling pin last year — a curiosity facilitated by lockdown boredom, according to Dorentina, who worked as a Montessori school assistant before the coronavirus pandemic. She told “Today” last year that his training started with “easy stuff,” like cupcakes. “Eventually he advanced to roasted chicken,” she said.

Ilirian wasn’t interested in a following on social media, but when Dorentina’s friends saw her son crack an egg with the deftness of a chef, they encouraged the mom and son to share their foray into kid-safe cooking content.

Granted, accidents do happen — a lot. Some of Ilirian’s most-viewed videos are his blooper reels, which feature the giddy gourmand giggling through the mess he’s known to make.

Dorentina has said that she hopes Ilirian’s fearless spirit in the kitchen — and showing how to manage it safely — will encourage more adults to put trust in children who show an interest in their food: “Kids are capable of so much.”

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‘Godzilla vs. King Kong’ to become highest-grossing film of pandemic

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'Godzilla vs. King Kong' to become highest-grossing film of pandemic

It’s a roarrr-ing success!

“Godzilla vs. King Kong” is on track to become the highest-grossing North American film since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Warner Bros. and Legendary flick netted $48.1 million in its first five days since opening in theatres on March 31, Boxoffice Pro reported.

According to the film industry magazine, the movie could have surpassed $57.9 million in sales as early as last Thursday, which would be the most for any film released since March 2020.

Official figures since last weekend have not yet been released.

The epic monster movie is also streaming on HBO Max.

The movie business, like many other industries in the US, took a hit during the pandemic as theaters across the country were forced to close.

Forty percent of the nationwide theaters remain closed, according to Bloomberg.

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DMX fans remember rapper’s sweet ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ cameo

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DMX fans remember rapper's sweet 'Fresh Off the Boat' cameo

DMX fans are celebrating the late rapper’s funny bone.

The 50-year-old, gravel-voiced musician, who died Friday following an April 2 heart attack triggered by a drug overdose, showed off his comedic delivery in a 2015 episode of the Randall Park-starring ABC sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat.”

In the episode, Louis Huang’s (Park) son Eddie, played by Hudson Yang, gets a part-time job pitching in at the home of a new neighbor — DMX. But Eddie has a lot to learn before he jumps in.

“You look older in person,” Eddie tells him in the episode, titled “We Done Son,” to which a baby-cradling DMX responds, “Fatherhood ages you. I’m tired. Emotional. Crying. Yelling. Pulling up the same cotton commercial. It’s the fabric of our lives.” 

But when an excited Eddie says he can’t wait to clue in his friends about his new gig, the hip-hop legend forks over a multipage nondisclosure agreement for him to sign.

“Sorry, little man; can’t have you blowing up my spot,” he tells the disappointed kid. “It’s the same one Oprah used on Stedman,” DMX adds, referring to Winfrey’s rarely seen longtime partner, Stedman Graham. 

The Ruff Ryder then rattles off a list of chores for Eddie to take on for his newborn daughter, including “baby-proofing the living room” and putting “lavender drops in her cloth diapers.” When Eddie asks why he doesn’t just use disposable ones, an environmentally conscious DMX responds, “ ‘Cuz I ain’t trying to leave some big-ass carbon footprint.”

In another, more touching scene, DMX gives Eddie a tour of his orchid-laden private greenhouse and offers the boy some solid relationship advice.

“When I first started growing orchids, I thought they needed the most expensive soil and lights to blossom. And they died,” the “Party Up (Up in Here)” singer tells Eddie while showing off his floral bounty. “That’s when I realized that all they really needed was time and attention.”

DMX then draws a connection between his horticultural know-how and how to treat women.

“You don’t need to get your girl a gift,” he says. “You need to give her your time.”

That clip brought a wistful reaction from Twitter user and apparent orchid-grower @CharlotteAbotsi, who shared it with a message of foreshadowing. “This morning I woke up to find the last petal of an orchid plant I’ve been trying to nurse on the floor,” she wrote in the tweet. “I should’ve known then. RIP DMX.”

That quick stint on “Fresh Off the Boat” apparently wasn’t DMX’s only connection to sitcom life. During a 2017 episode of the talk show “Hot Ones,” actress Gabrielle Union told host Sean Evans that DMX “loves” the 1980s sitcom “The Golden Girls.”

“That’s a real fun fact,” says Union, who worked with him in the 2003 film “Cradle 2 the Grave.” In the video, Union shares that DMX watched the show in his trailer on set — and invited her to join him over beers. “We would have a Heineken — and sometimes a little Crown [Royal] — and we watched ‘The Golden Girls,’ ” she says, adding, “And he would laugh hysterically.”

Union was also among the celebrities who weighed in on his passing Friday. “No words right now. Nothing but fierce love, prayers and protection for X’s family, friends and fans. This loss is devastating,” she tweeted, adding prayer emojis and a black heart.

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Marine vet pens children’s book to help military families cope with deployment separation

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Marine vet pens children’s book to help military families cope with deployment separation

A Marine veteran has written a children’s book to help kids with the challenges of a parent being deployed.

The book, titled “I Will Come Back,” will be released in May in both Spanish and English.

Author and veteran Padgy Soltis wrote the story based on her son’s experience of living in a dual military family and experiencing the deployment of both parents.

“My hope is that this book will help children experiencing issues with separation from a loved one, whether it is a day or months long,” Soltis said. “It is a reminder that they are always in our hearts regardless of the distance or time.”

Soltis originally wrote the book in 2016, when she began a new career months after her son was born. The author was sent away for two months for training when her son was only eight months old.

Then in 2017, her son’s dad was deployed for six months, a departure that was followed by a nine-month deployment in 2018 for Soltis.

“The most difficult moments between a child and parent are times of separation,” the book’s synopsis reads. “This book is the light at the end of the tunnel when being apart is inevitable. Whether it is making a trip to the grocery store, a weekend away for work, or a nine-month military deployment. ‘I Will Come Back’ reminds children and parents that regardless of the time and distance they may be apart, they will be reunited once again.”

Soltis’ book, originally a poem that helped her adjust to deployed life without her son, is “written in a simple, rhythmic style, [and] it gives kids a reassuring sense that the bond of parenthood and love knows no limits,” Soltis said.

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