Pass the sugar free syrup: Walcott makes waffles in Brooklyn

(Anna Phillips)

Dennis Walcott officially becomes the new schools chancellor on Monday, but today he had to be content with playing chef. Walcott stopped by a Brooklyn elementary school this morning to make good on a promise that his personal waffle recipe is the best in the world.

Lily Potter, the P.S. 10 third-grader who originally issued the challenge a year ago, said she felt Walcott had exceeded expectations.

“He said one of his hobbies is cooking and I said ‘Well, prove it,'” Potter recounted. “He’s a man of his word,” she said.

Walcott, who donned an apron that read “Kiss the cook from P.S. 10,” went about his task with utmost seriousness. He brought his own waffle iron and arrived an hour and a half early to prepare the batter. The event was one in a series of sugary photo opportunities he has participated in this week, beginning with a visit to P.S. 261 and then his alma mater, Francis Lewis High School.

A twist on typical Aunt Jemima fare, Walcott’s waffles substitute unsweetened soy milk for whole milk and olive oil for canola. He blends a ripe banana into the mix to make the waffles sweet without adding more sugar than is already in the Aunt Jemima batter package.

“Six out of five stars,” said Michael Vasquez, a fifth grader, upon sampling the incoming chancellor’s waffles. “David, you’re not having more?” he asked a classmate in disbelief.

But David Kim was enthusiastic as well. “I don’t usually eat waffles,” he allowed, “but this is the best one I ever ate.”

Walcott said that because he has a history of diabetes in his family, he tries to eat healthily. He gave up red meat ten years ago, avoids white sugar, doesn’t drink soda, and is almost never tempted by fried food. He also has a gluten allergy and so tries to stay away from wheat. He didn’t mention where he stands on salt — one of Mayor Bloomberg’s poorer and better-known eating habits (he puts salt on saltine crackers).

Walcott said he’d gone for a two mile run this morning and often gets to the gym on weekends.

“Are you training for a marathon?” a reporter asked.

“In my head,” Walcott said.

Walcott’s Waffles (which he multiplied by 16 to feed the class): -1 cup unsweetened soy milk blended with a ripe banana for sweetness -1 cup waffle mix -1 egg white -dash of olive oil -sugar free syrup