If you can’t seem to fry up cutlets without a few mini-folks scrambling into the kitchen, you might have some teeny chefs on your hands.
Here are some fabulous local cooking schools where kids can hone their culinary skills under the direction of experts. And while you’re exploring creative corners, check out these 10 drop-in art locations for Long Island kids and our LI classes and enrichment guide.
Sur La Table — Manhasset and Lake Grove
With locations in Manhasset and Lake Grove, this nationwide cooking shop offers themed courses including bake shop fundamentals and a Kids’ American Road Trip, where juniors can learn to plate up specialties like shrimp tacos and Southern peach cobbler. While some classes fill up fast, others can be purchased at discounts of up to 60 percent if you keep your eye on the Sur La Table website. If getting out and about is tricky with a family, check out its online cooking classes such as Pizza 101.
A La Carte — Lynbrook
One Saturday each month, grown-ups and kids can works together in themed classes focusing on fundamentals like phyllo, crepes, or homemade pasta. In addition, A La Carte offers weeklong courses at the beginning and end of summer, where children can create indulgences like deviled eggs, cheese puffs, and risotto. Plan your child’s birthday party here and guests can make their own chicken piccata, tacos, or spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, as well as a heavenly dessert. Sign up for its newsletter to find out about monthly specials.
The Flour Shoppe Cafe — Rockville Centre
While best known for its artisan breads and farm-fresh salads, The Flour Shoppe Cafe also offers cooking and baking sessions for adults and kids during the first three Tuesdays of each month. Chefs-in-training create a meal and a homemade bread or pastry, which they can bring home along with the recipe. Kids’ groups have mastered treats like pizza and chocolate baguettes. Call the cafe to sign up for a class or schedule a private session.
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Learn to bake and more at Kitchen Time's Party Place.
Kitchen Time’s Party Place — Massapequa
Check Kitchen Time’s Facebook page to sign up for a small-group class that supplies kids with entire meals recipes. You can also create your own private class of friends to make indulgences like lasagna rollatini or sweet-and-sour meatballs. Birthday parties include cake decorating as well as meal creations such as English muffin pizzas, “monogrammed” hamburgers, and homemade manicotti. Kids can also choose a candy-making party, or bake teddy bear cakes and sweet cinnamon pretzels.
The Well-Seasoned Chef — Garden City
Located on New Hyde Park Road in Garden City, The Well-Seasoned Chef offers elegant parties and top-notch classes for culinary kids. Birthday boys and girls can choose from homemade pizzas with toppings, a mangia menu featuring fresh pastas and handcrafted ricotta, or a piquant fiesta with handmade tortillas and marinated chicken. Summer sessions introduce kids to knife skills, baking, grilling, and plating.
What’s Cooking — Oyster Bay
Situated on Oyster Bay’s charming Main Street, What’s Cooking allows kids to sign up for a series of 10 classes at a time that can be attended weekly or monthly. Kids learn basic skills, including how to use a hand-mixer and mandolin, as well as etiquette and nutritional lessons. During a 75-minute session, each junior cuisiner creates a main dish, side dish, and dessert, and brings home a copy of the recipe and food to share with the family. Older kids sometimes go “off recipe” and season and taste while they simmer. What’s Cooking offers mommy-and-me classes for teeny tasters ages 2-4; junior chef courses for ages 4-7; great chef experiences for ages 8-11; and international cooking for ages 11-15. Kids also love its themed birthday parties, which include cupcakes with professional icing bags and personalized goodie bags to take home.
The Baking Coach — Amityville and Huntington
The Baking Coach offers weeklong summer sessions for kids that supply them with recipes for appetizers, bread making, frozen desserts, candy making, and more. To apprentice their parents in learning fundamentals such as crescent roll appetizers, basic cake decorating, and basic fondant decorating, kids 9 and younger only pay a $25 sharing fee.
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Decorate your own masterpiece at Gingerbread University.
Gingerbread University — Riverhead
Toddlers, kids, teens, and even grown-ups can walk into Gingerbread University at any time and pick out a seasonal gingerbread cookie. They are given a tutorial on how to use an icing bag, and receive a diploma as well as extra candy from the on-staff ginger elves. Call ahead for information on birthday party packages, including pizza, invitations, and a private room.
Photos courtesy of the shops/cooking schools