We could all use some help around dinnertime – and what if that help came from your children (gasp!)? Pique their interest and appetite with a cooking class. They’ll have fun stirring, mixing and learning skills that go beyond the kitchen. So sit back and let your kids do the cookin’ for once!
One cup of fun
After attending Young Chefs Academy, kids will come home equipped to teach you a thing or two. Students cook in a fun, clean environment, employing the cooking-world mantra “Mise en Place” (translation: “everything in its place”). The staff includes professional chefs and nutritional experts who make cooking interesting and entertaining. Weekly classes give students a chance to explore ingredients and create recipes while cooking up self-confidence. Classes are offered for multiple age groups (Kinder Cooks, Little Chef, Junior Chef, Busy Chef, Senior Chef) that tackle recipes and appropriate skills such as introducing shapes, smells and colors for ages 3–5. You can even host your child’s next birthday party in the kitchen.
Know before you go: You can sign up for a monthly membership that secures a spot in that month’s classes, and your child will receive recipes, a backpack, recipe binder, an apron and chefs club member card for special discounts. Membership is not required, and single-class prices are available. Class offerings, times and prices vary by location.
Find it: 9350 Pasadena Dr., (Preston and Main), Frisco, 972/335-4449
2107 W. Eldorado Pkwy., McKinney, 972/473-9090
TWO tablespoons of laughter
It’s all about hands-on fun at Market Street culinary school. With a variety of classes each month (at great prices), you’re sure to cook up some fun with your little chef. Most classes are typically during the lunch hour on the weekends and feature a main dish and a yummy dessert that everyone eats at the end of the class. Class is held at the Dish Event Center, where you can also host a fun cooking party for the next birthday, bridal shower or girls’ night out. Plan dinner on a cold day by cooking homemade chicken noodle soup, breadsticks and Eskimo cookies for dessert on Saturday, Jan. 14, 10-11:30am (ages 4–6). A more advanced class the same day from 1-3pm will cook chicken in puff pastry with basil cream sauce and much more (ages 7–11). Even the smallest can cook during the Little Dipper class on Friday, Jan. 20, 10:30am-noon (ages 3–5).
Know before you go: Classes seat up to 25, and you must register. Most classes are held between 10am–1pm. Prices vary. To register for a class, call Dish Event Center at 972/548-5167.
Find it: 6100 W. Eldorado Pkwy., McKinney, 972/548-5140 marketstreetmckinney.com
One cup of fun
Make your meal and eat it too. At Kids Cooking Company students have fun from start to finish, preparing and eating a full meal in each class. They also get to take home the recipe card. In addition to the cooking and eating, students are placed in a class according to their age group (ages 4–6, 5–8 and 9–12), where they learn cooking skills such as creating their own recipes, food safety, the importance of nutrition and even basic etiquette. Parents with young children (ages 2 1/2–4) can join the fun for Mommy and Daddy courses, where the family enjoys making meals together and trying new foods.
Know before you go: The one-time registration fee ($15) includes a signature apron and personalized recipe box. Daily sessions typically run seven weeks and cost $210
Find it: 6025 Royal Ln., Ste. 225, Dallas.
Two pounds of excitement
If you’re looking for a fun custom-cooking class, check out Bubble Lifestyle Food & Caterer. You can work with owner Gail Waxma to arrange a class for your child and a group of friends on a Saturday or day off from school.
Know before you go: Classes are held in her home, where she demonstrates cooking techniques and kids roll up their sleeves to join the fun. Waxman also offers classes for adults, and children can join too (or just taste-test as Mom or Dad cooks). She has a wood-fire pizza grill that is sure to interest your little ones, since pizza is their favorite food group.
Find it: Dallas area.
Three tablespoons of laughter
Get your cook on at Central Market. Yes, the store that actually makes grocery shopping enjoyable also offers cooking classes for you and the kiddo running down aisle 10. Each month different classes give parents and kids the opportunity to work together preparing a variety of dishes that all will enjoy.
Know before you go: Spend the day in a kitchen you don’t have to clean with your little ones learning to cook American classics such as pot roast, house rolls and Boston cream pie cupcakes. Class is held Sunday, January 29 2PM-4:30PM. Seating is limited. (Cost $80 per parent/child pair).
Find it: 5750 E. Lovers Ln., Dallas.