Sesame Street’s favorite foodie, Cookie Monster, is getting his own cooking segment during the 30-minute PBS children’s show.
The beloved blue creature and his new friend, Gonger, will be operating a food truck together. In each segment, the pals receive a call from a child who wants to order a meal from their operation, Food & Wine reports. But, while preparing the dish, the pair will have to hit the road in their truck to find a main ingredient.
Through their travels, the team will explore places like a “cranberry bog, a pasta factories, an avocado farm,” the show said in a statement. At each of these locations, Cookie Monster and Gonger will learn how the ingredient is made by talking to a farmer or an artisan before being sent “home to get cooking.”
The goal is to help kids learn more about how food is made and through that knowledge, cultivate healthier eating habits.
“The video field trips to farms and factories are reminiscent of classic Sesame Street, and Cookie Monster—an enduring favorite with fans of all ages—is the original food fanatic,” said Brown Johnson, EVP and Creative Director, Sesame Workshop. “Who better to teach kids how food gets to their plates, putting a Sesame spin on the food truck culture that’s unfolding in communities across the country?”
The Cookie Monster’s new role as healthy food ambassador has been part of his evolution for several years now. Back in 2005, the Cookie Monster’s cookie lust was swapped for carrots and healthier foods following a Cornell University study that showed placing Elmo stickers on broccoli made it more appealing to kids. Cookies were from then on pushed off as “a sometimes food” for the shaggy blue monster.
“We’ve been putting healthy foods in Cookie Monster’s hands and in his mouth for a long time now,” Scott Chambers, who oversees domestic licensing and media for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street told the Washington Post.
Now Cookie Monster and Gonger will be cruising around the country, teaching kids about where food comes from and what makes up their favorite recipes.
The duo will also be meeting some high-profile guests, like Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, who is stopping by in the 48th season for the “international street food fair.”