Editor’s Note: Our representative NYC Dad from New Jersey, Dave Lesser, recently received an invitation to attend a sample “Mommy and Me” cooking class at Le Gourmet Factory Cooking School in Englewood, N.J., with his 4-year-old daughter, Penny. Here’s his tale. – KMcK.
Le Gourmet Factory Cooking School is pretty much brand spanking new. The facility is beautiful. They offer classes such as Knife Skills, Intro to Raw Food, and Gluten Free Pasta for adults; for children ages 10 to14, they have a summer camp and, starting in the fall, Mommy and Me classes for kids of various ages. (Note: I’m not offended by the Mommy and Me moniker. I think it’s done more for the alliteration than as a sign of disrespect to dads. Everyone loves a little alliteration.)
The class we took was a preview. They usually require 12 kids in a class and there were only three who attended this one. Although not getting the real deal cooking class was understandable, it was still kind of a bummer. Cooking is fun for kids because it’s one of those times where getting dirty is not only encouraged, but an integral part of the process. Cooking class is especially cool because someone else takes care of all the dirty dishes! At the sample class, the kids made a couple fruit and marshmallow kabobs. No mixing, kneading, sifting or sprinkling required. No getting dirty! (Except for a little marshmallow stickiness.)
I asked the chef about what kids and their parents – you know, the ones shelling out their hard-earned cash for the classes – could expect from the regular schedule. She told me about an upcoming class on Healthy Snacks, where the students will make turkey and carrot pinwheels, healthy donuts, and strawberry lemonade. Some excellent potential for mess-making there!
Other than getting gooey, icky, sticky and throwing flour all over the place, it would also be great to have Penny learn a little something about the food she eats (or at least, is supposed to eat). According to the website, the classes “teach kids how to identify, cook and eat healthy foods.” Food education sounds like it will play a vital role in the classes.
Le Gourmet Factory School has wonderful potential to be a fun place for kids to learn something about what they’re eating, how to make it, and have a messy good time in the process. Even though she stayed relatively clean, Penny loved the class and asked when we were coming back. She’s the real reviewer here, and she gave Le Gourmet Factory School two (slightly sticky) thumbs up.
To find out more the kids classes at Le Gourmet Factory School, visit www.wannabeechef.com.
A version of this first appeared on Amateur Idiot/Professional Dad.