Kids and family

Cooking classes for mini-master chefs

Cooking classes for mini-master chefs
"Kids will have great fun as they learn traditional cooking techniques such as pasta making, bread making, food gathering and preserves in the farmhouse kitchen."

What's cookin', mum?

If you've got a budding Jamie or Nigella trying to nudge you out of the kitchen, then you're not alone. Thanks to the popularity of MasterChef a new breed of mini gourmets are fleeing the playground and taking to kitchens around Australia in droves.

According to Leah Roland, principal of the Bangalow Cooking School on the Far North Coast of New South Wales, whose young protégés recently appeared in an episode of Junior MasterChef, the show has had a positive effect on kids.

"It's made cooking fashionable," says Ms Rowland.

"Cooking vocabulary has now become part of the everyday vernacular with kids saying things like 'plate up' and 'sauté'. Kids are now critiquing their meals in a positive way. Rather than saying 'Yuck, I don't like it', they now say 'I don't like it because of the texture or the smell or the taste'."

Ms Roland, who has been teaching kids how to cook for seven years, says children love experimenting with food.

"Cooking classes can open kids to eating something new and experimenting with their food palette. By exposing them to beautiful seasonal food, more often than not they are more willing to try foods they have prepared, which could be different to their usual food choices. What's more, it's a fun engaging approach."

Want to entertain your mini master chef these holidays? Then sign them up for classes at one of these great cooking schools.

Bangalow Cooking School

Bangalow, NSW

From her base at the historic A&I Hall in Bangalow, Leah Roland runs both two-hour demo and half-day hands-on classes teaching adults and kids how to whip up their own Middle Eastern, Italian, Thai and Indian inspired gastronomic creations. Her popular 'Kids in Kitchen' classes are run in conjunction with local schools throughout the year, with special classes for kids ten and older held during the school holidays.

Black Pearl Epicurean

Brisbane, Qld

Well-known for their tasty range of adult cooking classes, the Black Pearl now also offers classes for children aged between 7-13 years. Kids can choose from a variety of classes throughout the year such as Basic Asian for Kids, Funky Cupcakes for Kids and Sausage Making for Kids. At the holidays, crafty mini master chefs can also try their hand at making sweet Christmas treats like ginger bread man cookies, and then jazz them up with chocolate bits, icing and ribbons.

Cooking Co-ordinates

Canberra, ACT

Mini-master chefs in the national capital are well catered for with Canberra's longest-standing cooking school, Cooking Co-ordinates, offering a great line-up of school holiday cooking classes for children aged between 5 and 15 years. Located in The Piazza at the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets, the hands-on classes led by in house chefs will have kids cooking up a storm.

Gourmet Kids

Melbourne, Vic

Located in the Melbourne suburb of Malvern, Gourmet Kids offers 10-week kids cooking courses, for kinder kids (2-5 years) and school age children (5-15 years) throughout the year. The classes run five nights a week after school. Kids can learn how to cook chocolate self-saucing pudding, veggie lasagne and bircher muesli. Come holiday time, they can take part in a range of fun cooking lessons designed to entertain, educate and inspire even the fussiest of little eaters.

Peaceful Gardens Organic Cooking School

Koonwarra, Vic

The first certified organic cooking school in Victoria, Peaceful Gardens, in the foodie town of Koonwarra, runs special kids' classes every Thursday incorporating storytelling and cooking songs. Kids will have great fun as they learn traditional cooking techniques such as pasta making, bread making, food gathering and preserves in the farmhouse kitchen. Produce used in the classes is sourced from their 60 acre organic farm, including wagyu beef, vegetables and fruit used for jam and preserving. They even offer a class around cooking healthy organic foods for pets. (03) 5664 2480

Sheridan Rogers Cooking School

Sydney, NSW

Sheridan Rogers, the award-winning writer, broadcaster, food stylist and author of Mini Chef: Cooking with Kids, has conducted cooking classes for adults and children from her home in North Sydney for the last seven years. Under her skilful guidance, children aged 8-12 years are taught how to prepare delicious, wholesome meals using ingredients straight from the garden. Classes are held during the school holidays and the last Friday of the month.

The Ginger Factory

Yandina, Qld

During the school holidays, the Ginger Factory hosts special kids cooking classes for children 8 years and over. With the festive season fast approaching kids can learn how to whip up edible Christmas gifts or cook up a festive storm with a special easy-to-create three-course Christmas dinner. There's also a Kids Mini Masterclass where mini master chefs can learn how to cook tasty treats such as crispy Asian rolls with Vietnamese dipping sauce from scratch during the three-hour lesson.

Have any other kiddie cook suggestions, or have your littlies learned at one of the above? How'd they find it?

User comments
Kids Cooking Tools offer disposable kids aprons & chef hats (pink or white). Kids love to wear a apron & chef hat while cooking their special meal or dessert. Also offer packs for kids cooking classes and parties. For more information visit www.kidscookingtools.com.au
KIDS! Go outside, play in the sunshine.
Mini Cooks hold cooking class for young cooks in Adelaide who love to get in the kitchen, they learn social skills as well as cooking skills. We have classes in the North, South, East and West of Adelaide with Pre School Classes during school term and School holiday classes held during each school holidays Pre School Cooking Classes 2.5 - 5 year olds school term.School Holiday cooking classes 3-13 yrs. More info visit www.minicooks.com.au
Perth cooking classes are available at the Cooking Professor in North Perth. Sigh! WA always misses out on the mentions!
Mel, I'm with you completely. It frustrates me so much when I read these kind of articles and then see that Perth is offering nothing! My daughter is also 5 and was addicted to Kids Masterchef. She would love to do a cooking class. Very frustrating!
Once again Western Australia does not have anything. Come on WA how about we keep up with the rest of Australia and we also have some facilities for our children to learn some new skills. I have two children aged 5 & 9 who I know would absolutely love to do some group cooking classes. Please if there is anyone out there who reads this and has the facilities to start up an amazing new venture in Perth then don't hesitate, go for it!!!!
Try COOL KIDS COOK, Neutral Bay Sydney Australia. Open to students from yr2 -yr6 and run as an after school programme and covers food safety and handling as well as many interactive hands on cooking classes. Visit www.coolkidscook.com.au

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