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Fun Cooking Classes for NJ Kids at Bambino Chef

After being stuck indoors for months now with your kids, this time of year can seem like a never ending saga, leaving even the most innovative parents desperate for new and interesting things to do. Plus, it can be challenging to find something suitable for the younger crowd. If you've got a kid that perks up every time Mom pulls out a mixing bowl, or even if you just want to shake things up a bit for your non-foodies, head over to Bambino Chef and take a cooking class!

In the past few years, booming downtown Jersey City has become host to many new businesses geared toward children and families. Rene Safarova-Gonzalez opened Bambino Chef in downtown JC last year. The mother of three and Jersey City resident has created an inviting space for kids to explore cooking, eating and play – all while promoting healthy living. All the recipes that kids follow are made-from-scratch and very health conscious. Even cupcakes are given a healthy spin by adding fruits and vegetables to them. Recent recipes include pizza, apple-filled oatmeal cookies, avocado monster baked fries and more. With Bambino Chef, Rene has created a unique and specialized place for both kids and parents to enjoy.
 
My two-year-old son Dylan and I attended a morning drop-in class recently. The space is warm and kid-friendly, featuring toys and a big table with mini kitchen utensils for the little ones to use. After all the children washed their hands, they were given little aprons and got right down to business! Rene introduced herself and all the children said their names. The kids ranged in age from 2 to around 5 years old. The day’s task was given: to make a pizza. She had pre-cooked the dough (all made from scratch), so the children weren’t handling anything raw. Plus, it was easier for them to just begin with putting toppings right onto formed pizza dough. Rene definitely knew how to keep the attention of a toddler, which, let’s face it, is no easy feat! Sauce, cheese, olives and garlic salt were handed out. All the kids seemed to enjoy creating their very own pizza. Dylan was excited to use as much cheese and olives as he possibly could (and eat whatever didn’t fit).

Once they were done, the pizzas were put into the oven to finish cooking and the kids gathered around for story time. Rene read them all a book and everyone got involved in the fun. After that it was craft time! As it was pretty close to Valentine’s Day, the kids all made a little card with crayons and heart stickers. This was a very popular activity and everyone seemed like they were having a blast. Finally, the pizza was served and the children got to see their culinary achievements. It was very exciting and the kids seemed really proud of themselves. Everyone chatted and nibbled on the homemade pizzas. It was a great way to spend a morning with Dylan, not to mention fun for me to meet and chat with the other moms. 

Bambino Chef offers many different classes and programs. Classes are 50 minutes each and are offered for specific age groups, with the youngest kids being around 2 years of age. Because all items are made fresh and prepared before class begins, you need to register in advance. You may become a member by enrolling in a semester for ten classes for $300. Semesters are rolling, so you can register at any time and the menu is so varied, they haven’t repeated a recipe in more than six months! Drop-in classes are offered during the week and cost $32 per class. 

Sip and See is a program for new moms that includes tummy time for little ones and one hour of chatting and tea and biscuits. It’s a great way to get out of the house with your newborn and meet other new mamas. On the weekends, Family Fun programs offer cooking, crafts and more! Two parents and one child can stay or you can use the drop-off option for kids three years and up. The program is $32. A popular program is the Mommy & Daddy Date Night Friday class. Parents are invited to drop their child (three years and up) off and go out for “a fun-filled evening without a kiddie meal.” Kids will enjoy three glorious hours of cooking, songs, arts and crafts and movies! This program is offered every Friday night from 6pm to 9pm and costs $35 for non-members and $30 for members. A 15% discount is given for siblings and to members for all classes.

Bambino Chef is available for birthday parties and events. Members receive a 15% discount on all party packages. Birthday packages include: use of the facility, party hosts, cooking lesson, drinks, snack, party supplies, aprons (disposable), an apron decorating station or hand print canvas, gift for birthday girl or boy, favor bags, finger food for adults, etc. They also offer mommy/daddy and me play dates, pajama parties, baby showers, adult cooking classes and more. They even offer house calls, if you prefer to celebrate at home! The kitchen is also available for rent.

Check out their Facebook page to keep up with all their new events and promotions and to check out pictures of past events! Bon appetit!
 
Bambino Chef, 213 Newark Avenue, Jersey City