Whet Your Appetite: Cooking Classes for Your Budding Chefs
Music, soccer, ballet, and gymnastics. Junior has done it all and is getting jaded. What’s next on the activity docket that is fun, ready for any weather and outside the box? Cooking class to the rescue! No need to bring snack or lunch to these classes we think are so awesome. Let the kids get their hands dirty while learning about food and fractions along the way. Here are our delicious picks for the best cooking classes in New York.
Outer Boroughs Tastiest Offerings:
At Young Chefs Academy in Forest Hills, Queens, kids get a 90-minute cooking class that helps build culinary skills and confidence. Whether making salsa or quinoa “risotto” bites, math skills, reading comprehension and hand-eye coordination are put to the test as a top little chef. YCA builds upon your kiddo’s education in a fun and tasty way.
Over in Dumbo, Romy Horn is serving up classes right in her own kitchen. A former attorney turned kids cooking instructor, this avid home cook started Dough Re Me Kids after her own kiddo expressed an interest in cooking. Horn started creating lessons at home, offering private instruction to other families, and now hosts a series of classes during the week and seasonal workshops on the weekends. The focus on fresh and organic ingredients is a welcome break from the usual fare of chicken tenders and mac n’ cheese.
Young Chef’s Academy
108-10 72nd Avenue, 2nd Floor
Forest Hills, NY
(Queens – Forest Hills)
Ages: 4 – 12+
Dough Re Me Kids
Classes at chef Romy Horn’s personal kitchen
Ages: 3 – 14
Cooking on the Cheap:
Don’t discount Creative Kitchen because classes are affordable and many are drop-in friendly. Founder and head chef Cricket Azima has serious chops when it comes to lil’ foodies. Azima wrote a masters thesis on how children’s cooking classes can enhance learning by engaging the five senses of sight, touch, taste, hear and smell. This holistic experience can help cement memories – both academic and fun!
The JCC Manhattan is another great resource for affordable but completely entertaining classes. Kids cook up exotic delicacies from South India and Greece in the Little Chefs International Class for 4 to 6 year olds while the younger tots age 2 to 3 learn how to peel, whisk and grate like a master in Kookin’ Kids. Book in advance for the next winter session as the classes are popular and fill up fast!
Classes at various locations throughout Downtown Manhattan
(Lower East Side, Financial District, Tribeca, West Village, Chelsea)
Ages: 2 – 5, Special workshops up to 13)
JCC of Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY
(Upper West Side)
Ages: 2 – 9
Variety is the spice of life and we think Taste Buds Kitchen has a great selection of classes. There’s a class for your young cupcake connoisseur, an Election Day camp featuring red, white and blue foods, gingerbread house decorating, and an autism-friendly cooking class for older kids age 10-15. Heck, you can even arrange date night at Taste Buds – make some homemade pasta together or challenge friends to an Iron Chef dinner competition!
What New York Kids Club might lack in a catalog of classes they make up in geographic diversity and offerings. NYKC has designed a curriculum geared toward younger chefs and developing age-appropriate skills. Young toddlers focus on table manners and kitchen safety – working with tools to mix, chop, and stir, while preschoolers travel the globe through food, cooking and dining together with friends in an independent participation class. Five locations offer classes at different times so your little Emeril is sure to find one that works.
Taste Buds Kitchen
109 West 27th Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY
Ages: 2 – 10
New York Kids Club
4 Manhattan Locations and 1 Brooklyn Heights Location
(Upper West Side, Lincoln Center, Gramercy Park, Battery Park, and Brooklyn Heights)
Ages: 2 – 5
Get the Whole Family Cookin’
Ideal for families who want to have everyone help out in the kitchen, the classes at Freshmade NYC are catered to even the littlest chefs. Their Lunch Express class gets kids as young as 2 chopping, mixing, and measuring their way through lunch time. Kids call the shots here, and all the classes are conducted at a speed that works best for those little attention spans. They’re all about making food fun, so much so that your kids won’t even notice that they are learning while they’re cooking–that’s a win-win!
636 Broadway, Suite #516
(between Bleecker & Houston)
Ages: 2 – 10
Do your little ones help out when it comes time to make dinner? Share you secrets on how to get them involved in the cooking process.
– Sarah Choi