If your child has aspirations of being on Chopped Junior or Top Chef Junior, there are plenty places around town where young chefs can learn kitchen basics and sharpen their culinary skills. We’ve whipped up a list of our favorites.
For ages: All
Where: 34 W. Palatine Road, Palatine
Gather the whole family ‘round the table for family cooking classes that bring everyone together for a night of fun and eating. Learn to make up everything from homemade ravioli to a delicious family brunch.
For ages: 18 months and up
Where: 4410 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
A newcomer to the kids cooking scene, Fearless Cooking in Portage Park offers Fearless Tots Lunch & Learn and Courageous Kids pop-up classes, both of which encourage kids to get their hands dirty in the kitchen and enjoy cooking. They’ll even provide tips to parents about kid-friendly ways to incorporate vegetables into any meal.
For ages: 5 and up
Where: 7242 W. Touhy Avenue, Chicago
Each Kidz Can Cook class showcases fun and creative foods while introducing basic culinary skills to kids, including reading recipes, measuring, and kitchen safety. Students will make two to three recipes per class and receive recipe cards for everything they make so they can practice and enjoy the recipes at home.
For ages: 2 and up
Where: 2205 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
If your kids are hitting the wall this winter, or are just looking for a fun after-school activity, Give Me Some Sugar has the sweetest solution — Drop In and Decorate classes that’ll teach young bakers basic cupcake decorating techniques. They’ll each get six cupcakes to decorate and take home.
For ages:18 months and up
Where: 2622 N. Halsted Ave., Chicago
Chef and Owner Laura Ragano is classically trained and passionate about teaching kids the skills and techniques to become chefs in their own home. For that reason, classes at Oui Chef span slightly longer in length than a typical kids class (75 minutes), allowing for students to do individual work on recipes and chef instructors’ time to coach based on skill level. Each month features a different theme with January kicking off “Recipes from around the world.”
For ages: 2.5 and up
Where: 349 Ashland Ave., River Forest
Sugar Beet Schoolhouse runs all classes on The Good Food Movement platform, which is their way to get kids excited about the joy of cooking and sharing food together. Weekly classes like Nourishing Nummies, Schoolhouse Cooks! and Bakeshop encourage kids to investigate food with their five senses and build on skills from there.
For ages:2 and up
Where: 2521 Waukegan Rd, Bannockburn
A kids-centric kitchen by day and an adult BYOB kitchen at night, budding chefs can take caregiver classes, family classes or drop-off classes depending upon their age. Upcoming workshops this winter include everything from sushi and noodles to pancake mini muffins and heart-shaped cupcakes.
For ages: 7 and up
Where: The Merchandise Mart Plaza & 4747 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago
This Chicago favorite cooking school for adults is finally offering classes for kids, with each class consisting of a hands-on lesson on ingredients, sanitation, organization and cooking techniques. The Chopping Block also offers Family Nights, where children and adults will work together to prepare and enjoy a fabulous feast.
For ages: 18 months and up
Where: 2864 N. Lincoln Avenue & 2337 W. North Avenue, Chicago
The Kids’ Table offers parent-tot classes starting at 18 months, leading into independent classes that go from age four to teenage years. In all classes, kids get to chop, peel, grate and feast on their masterpieces. Recipes change from week to week, but you can typically expect both savory and sweet healthy options. Following each class, kids can take home the recipe to recreate the dish.
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