From Pasta to Pastries: Bay Area Cooking Classes for Kids
Remember the first time you surprised your mom with breakfast in bed? It was probably something along the lines of a cold Pop-Tart and a glass of OJ. Over the years, your culinary skills have doubtlessly improved, and cooking is something you now enjoy doing with your own kiddo. Why not move the little one up from mommy’s helper to talented chef in his own right with the help of a kid’s cooking class? With some professional inspiration, the breakfasts he surprises you with may just turn out to be gourmet. Here are some of the cooking schools and classes around the Bay designed with little ones in mind:
When your little bambino learns to make a pasta dish from start to finish, his confidence in the kitchen will shoot up a ton! That’s the goal at Cucina Bambini in San Jose, with Lil’ Chef classes, Cupcake Workshops, and more for children as young as 3. Parent-child workshops are also available.
Little Spoons Café
Chef Eric guides kids as young as 4 through the Flavor Lab, where they learn how taste works and get their creative juices flowing. Experiments and show and tell will help kids love to get cooking at these Piedmont-based classes.
In the Kitchen
Sunday mornings, The Culinary Dude, Chef Scott Davis, hosts a cooking series here for 4 to 14 year-olds, guiding them through measuring, peeling, cutting and sautéing. All the ingredients used at Sausalito’s In the Kitchen are local and sustainable, and on Tuesdays, even toddlers can get in on the action with a toddler/parent cooking class.
The chefs at Ramekins in Sonoma are dedicated to teaching kids alternatives to packaged snacks. With classes like “Kids Can Cook Afternoon Snacks” and kids’ culinary camps for those ages 7 and up, the days of their fending for themselves will be closer than you think.
This Berkeley museum for toddlers also hosts classes, among them the popular Flavors of Asia, taught by Herna from the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. Tiny hands are perfect for making Asian finger foods like potstickers and sushi!
Kids Culinary Adventures
Public classes and private sessions are both available at this long-standing, San Mateo school. In addition to honing in on the creative spirit of cooking, Kids Culinary Adventures teaches little ones as young as 3 about safety, “kitchen cooties,” and organizing their own culinary toolbox.
Sprouts Cooking Club
A real culinary maven, the founder of Sprouts Cooking Club also started the first culinary club at U.C. Berkeley. She soon drew her attention to kids, founding Sprouts Cooking Club so children 7 and up could take classes with real chefs in real restaurants, curbing a cycle of poor health and nutrition.
The Culinary Dude
The Culinary Dude blends Early Childhood Education with Culinary Arts. There’s no question that a lot of learning goes on here! Private classes on everything from breakfasts to healthy meals to Southern food are available for adults and kids, in your kitchen!
Young Chef’s Academy
Cooking involves everything from science to math to reading at Sunnyvale’s Young Chef’s Academy. Weekly, interactive classes for kids from 3 to their teenage years explore new themes that include basics like table setting, manners, and proper food handling.
Kids Cooking for Life
Empowerment is a big part of learning how to cook, and the mission at this San Rafael spot is to promote self esteem and healthier lifestyles, and reversing the epidemic of diabetes and childhood obesity. Classes cover lessons on cooking, nutrition, safety, and culture.
Have your kids learned the secrets of slicing and dicing, braising and brewing? Tell us where with a comment below.
– Renee Macalino Rutledge