What if at the end of a messy craft session, you actually had a home-cooked meal to show for it? That’s just one of the many perks to getting kids cooking early. Add to that that it lays a foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating and can help cure widespread “picky eater” syndrome, and it’s no wonder that kids cooking classes are the hottest thing out there. The newest addition to the batch is Culinary Artistas, which starts kids as young as 24 months on the path to making their own healthy, homemade meals.

culinary artistasPhoto: Culinary Artistas

Learn, Cook, Eat
Culinary Artistas is the brand new offering from Little Artistas, the beloved kids’ art studio with locations across San Francisco. Their newest location is a bright and spacious studio at Ghirardelli Square, with views right out onto the San Francisco Bay. This is also the site of the very first Culinary Artistas, a program dedicated to kids cooking classes.

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The set-up is five star, with a full kitchen complete with dozens of ingredients on display, plenty of kiddie-sized cooking tools and workspaces, and even an extra-long live edge table where everyone can gather and enjoy their creations at the end of each lesson.

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The Kitchen Staff
Kids will eat up the classes, which combine stories, ingredient exploration, plenty of hand-on cooking time, and even a family style meal. Chef Vanessa is at the helm. An expert in food science and nutrition, she realized her true passion was spreading the joy of cooking to kids. She is a pro with all the various age groups, and typically leads the group in two dishes per class—one savory, one sweet—to get those taste buds working overtime.

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For the youngest class, “Cooking with Your Little One” (24 mo to 4 yrs) she engaged the toddler-and-parent group by asking about favorite and least-favorite foods, reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and then making fruit caterpillar skewers for a sweet little appetizer. Next up was a kale and seed salad. The tikes loved tearing the dinosaur kale from its stem, and then massaging it. Once it was time to sit down and eat, almost everyone tried everything on their plate.

culinary artistasPhoto: Culinary Artistas

What’s On The Menu
There are classes for kids age 24 months to 12 years currently on offer. Most classes are series classes, which run 5 or 6 classes long, with a drop in option. For one-time offerings there are Saturday evening workshops, such as Make Your Own Personal Pizza and Breakfast for Dinner: Topsy Turvy Night. Full day camps are also available, and usually scheduled for days that local schools are closed. After-school classes include very Bay Area themes, such as “San Francisco Classics” where students whip up ciopinno and sour dough bread, and “Famous Chefs” where students learn about culinary stars such as Alice Waters, and then learn a few of their signature dishes.

Fall classes just started, but they are happy to prorate series classes if sign up after the start date.

Culinary Artistas
Ghirardelli Square
900 North Point St., Ste. H-108 B
San Francisco, Ca
415-735-5234
Online: culinaryartistas.com

Have you signed your kids up for a cooking class? Tell us about your experience in the comments below! 

–Erin Feher

All images by the author unless otherwise noted