Have you seen the snack plates imprinted with recipes of aspiring young cooks? Like this 3 year-old’s take on pancakes:  2 cups of sugar, a teaspoon of salt, half a cup of flour and a stick of butter. We like the way this budding baker thinks, even if the dentist won’t.  Well around here, we firmly believe it’s never too young to start learning (and recipe writing!).  So save the mud pies and sand patties for playground picnics; these swell schools will hone your culinary kids’ talents, maybe even tantalize the most finicky eaters.

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Life imitates art when you choose a fave movie, song, painting or book as inspiration.  Then ArtBites immerses you:  mini archaeologists may take a culinary tour of the Mayan culture, preparing a mouthwatering Mexican menu.  Or, maybe your little Madeline will whip up her namesake cakes.  Groups of 6 make a class  – or a family can choose a customized culinary ‘Family Caper.’



Chefs, Inc.
Check out Chefs, Inc.’s monthly calendar for your minis to master a new food or technique. Typically offered one Saturday per month, workshops include sweet treats and holiday cookies to after school snacks and pizza pies – sign up for whatever sparks your sprite’s fancy.  Kiddos 10 and over (and the occasional well-behaved 9 year old) can join their gastronomic grown-up in an adult class too; unfortunately, there’s no discount, yet kids-only classes run $20-30 less.

10955 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, 90064

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Kitchen Kid
Specializing in mobile cooking classes, Kitchen Kid travels to wherever you choose.  They supply food and materials, set-up and cleanup – all you have to do is have fun.  Try the Tot Chef Cook Group, a popular hands-on party perfect for parents and playgroup participation.  For little Top Chef fans, My Own Restaurant series gets them into the game.  They also teach thematic enrichment classes in schools, including Books for Cooks with deceptively healthy recipes like I’ll Never Eat Another Tomato salsa andWild Things Pesto Pita Pizza — plus oodles of summer camp choices.


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Piccolo Chef
Piccolo Chef loves good food, and use the great equipment in the pro kitchen at Surfas.  Tot chef-ettes can stir up A Pot’ Full O’ Stories while elementary aged kids will enjoy learning [to] Make Your Own Lunch Box.  A special Mommy & Me event is devoted to Cooking After Breast Cancer, to promote family wellness; the class is free to cancer survivors with kiddies aged 3 to 17.  Piccolo Chef also has a menu of foodie-themed birthday parties at their place or yours.  And for politeness-challenged offspring, their etiquette classes are fun and informative.  Tune in to ‘Watch & Learn’ or sample some of their favorite recipes on their wonderful website, which also links to catering info for big kid events.


Is your little one in the kitchen with Dinah, or do they prefer to serve as royal taster?

–Kim Orchen Cooper

photos courtesy of Kim Orchen Cooper, Chefs Inc and Kitchen Kid websites