If you’ve ever watched Master Chef Junior and marvelled at the talents of the kid chefs, then this column should be right up your alley.
Local families looking for a spring pastime for the small people in their household may just want to consider some of these culinary courses for little people. Whether you have a preschooler or a pre-teen, there’s bound to be something on offer for you.
Here are a few highlights of what I discovered in my explorations around New Westminster and Burnaby.
FAMILY SERVICES OF GREATER VANCOUVER
Among its many helpful offerings for families, Family Services is offering up Saturday Cooking Party events for parents and school-aged kids (ages six to 12). On March 18 you can join in to create Vietnamese Salad Rolls. On March 25, it’s Tasty Tacos. Both sessions are set to run from 10 a.m. to noon at Centennial Community Centre, 65 East Sixth Ave. There’s no cost, but space is limited so you must register ahead. Call Thuy at 604-638-3390, ext. 3166 or email email@example.com.
CENTENNIAL COMMUNITY CENTRE
Centennial Community Centre in New Westminster offers Mini Chefs for kids aged three to five, running Wednesdays at 2 p.m. from April 5 to May 3, and again from May 17 to June 13. Kids get to prepare breakfast, lunch, desserts and healthy snacks. It costs $43.75.
For six- to 12-year-olds, Centennial offers Chefs Are Us, running Wednesdays at 3:45 p.m. from April 5 to May 3, or from May 17 to June 14. Kids will get their hands on food preparation, trying out breakfast, lunch and healthy snacks, while also learning about food safety and kitchen smarts. It costs $46.25.
Call 604-777-5100 for information.
QUEENSBOROUGH COMMUNITY CENTRE
Queensborough Community Centre offers Kid Cooks, for ages five to 11, running Mondays at 3:15 from May 1 to June 12 for $54. Young cooks get to cook and taste their own creations. Call 604-525-7388.
This one’s not a “cooking class,” per se, but your little baker (aged five and under) can pop in to a River Critters baking class on Tuesday mornings at River Market (810 Quayside Dr., New Westminster). The 10 a.m. sessions, led by Katia Mayo from Pamola Bakery, get kids and their caregivers rolling cookies, decorating cupcakes and making other treats. The classes take place in the food hall and cost $8 per child. See www.rivermarket.ca.
This popular kitchen destination in North Burnaby not only offers all the gadgets and gear your culinary heart could desire, it also runs cooking classes and demonstrations on an ongoing basis.
Among its jam-packed calendar of offerings are classes meant just for kids.
Coming up, you can experience such offerings as Kids Cook: Fiesta Mexicana, for ages seven to 12, on March 11; Teens to the Table: Homemade Gnocchi, for ages 13 to 17, on March 19; Fun Spring Cupcakes, for ages eight to 14, on April 15; Kids Cook: Asian Fusion, for ages eight to 12, on April 15; and a Pro-D Day Kids Cook: Flavours of Spring program for eight- to 12-year-olds on April 24.
It also offers Spring Break Kid Cooks programs for ages eight to 12, but this year’s five-day programs (March 13 to 17 and March 20 to 24) are full – you can still put your child’s name on a wait list, however.
Check out www.poshpantry.ca for all the details, or call 604-428-7300.
BURNABY PARKS AND RECREATION
The City of Burnaby’s new Leisure Guide has a host of recreation and cultural offerings for young folks – including a couple of culinary choices.
Kids can sign up for Baking Basics, running at Edmonds Community Centre starting May 24 (for ages 10 to 13) and at Willingdon Community Centre starting May 2 (for ages eight to 12).
There’s also Cooking Basics, for 10- to 13-year-olds, running at Edmonds Community Centre for four sessions starting April 19.
For the little people in your house – with caregiver – there’s Cooking Time for Toddlers, which gives the 17- to 36-month-old crowd a chance to explore the world of food and create a new child-friendly snack each week. It runs Fridays starting April 21 at Wesburn Community Centre.
For these and other offerings from the city, pick up a Leisure Guide or see www.burnaby.ca/webreg.
This non-profit organization that’s devoted to developing school garden programs also happens to offer cooking classes. Coming up are spring break cooking camps for young participants at Forest Grove and Lochdale elementary schools.
See www.sproutingchefs.com or call 604-505-0074.