We often think of cooking as a skill we acquire as adults, but getting cooking lessons for your kids can be of great benefit to them. Learning to cook teaches them something they can put to immediate use and teaches them a skill that will help them throughout their life. You can even make it a family experience by participating with them!
Here are some online and virtual cooking classes for you to check out and the pros and cons of learning this skill in person and virtually to help you decide which works best for your child.
Cooks of Crocus Hill
Cooks of Crocus Hill is a gourmet culinary store and cooking school with three locations in Minnesota: St. Paul, Stillwater, and Minneapolis. They offer cooking classes for both adults and kids. Some classes are virtual, others require in-person participation at one of their locations.
For the virtual classes, young chefs join a live session with a professional chef instructor. Students receive login information and a list of recipes, ingredients, and equipment one week prior to class. They must then set up their viewing screen, whether a laptop, tablet, or phone, somewhere convenient for following the chef’s directions and cooking.
For in-person classes, you will need to check availability since there are limited seats for each class. They provide aprons to all attendees as well as instructions and printed recipes. Unless otherwise stated in the class description, parents may not attend with their children.
Some classes may be seasonal, such as “Halloween Baking” in October. Others cover a wide range of styles from basic breakfast and dinner to Mexican, pasta dishes, baking, and cake decorating.
Landscape Arboretum Learning Center
The cooking classes offered by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Learning Center are all virtual and for the entire family. You pay for each class on a per-household basis and either follow along with the instructor or watch the lesson and take notes, whichever works best for you.
The classes may be based around a set of ingredients, using them in different types of dishes, such as Asian or Indian cuisines. Throughout the year, they also offer classes that teach how to prepare seasonal dishes and treats, too.
Participants join the lesson live via Zoom. When you register for the class, you receive a link to the class as well as recipes, a list of ingredients, and nutritional information. There are a limited number of seats for each class, usually between 25 and 30.
The Kids Cooking School
Located in Circle Pines, The Kids Cooking School offers in-person and remote cooking lessons for kids and teens. The kids classes are geared toward 3rd to 5th graders. Lessons are paced appropriately with plenty of time for mistakes and do-overs to be sure the students get the most out of the experience. No matter the format, your kids can learn cooking basics and advanced techniques like baking and cake decorating.
In-person instruction is limited to small classes with two students per station, allowing the instructor to provide greater individual attention. Each station is equipped with a stand mixer, convection oven, and hot plate. Kitchen assistants and student volunteers provide help to students if the instructor isn’t available.
Only certain classes are available online via Zoom. Participants receive an email with instructions on what they need for the lesson. Plus, some courses are recorded in case your kiddo wants to redo the lesson later.
Way Cool Cooking School
Image via Flickr by bencrowe
Way Cool Cooking School in Eden Prairie offers both in-person and virtual cooking lessons for kids and families. They also run summer camps where kids can spend a morning, afternoon, or all day learning culinary skills. The kids classes are for students ranging from 3 to 15 years old. In-person kids-only classes vary in size, while the maximum number for in-person family classes is around 20.
The scope of lessons for children includes bread making, cake decorating, pasta making, as well as seasonally themed classes such as Thanksgiving Side Dishes or Holiday Cookie Decorating. Way Cool Cooking School also caters themed birthday parties for kids either at their location or in your home. At these parties, the kids make all the food, whether that’s pizza, pasta, or cupcakes. There are also special challenges, such as Cupcake Wars and the Master Chef’s Mystery Box Challenge.
They hold virtual classes over Zoom for groups of six to 15 students. Once you select your class and book the event, an instructor contacts you to give you login and event instructions. You can either opt to receive a shopping list and purchase your own groceries, or you can pay extra to pick up a pre-packaged kit with everything you need. Plus, you get one hour with your instructor and classmates to learn how to make different recipes.
In-Person or Virtual: Which Is Best?
Whether you choose in-person or virtual classes for your kids will depend on their needs and personality. With in-person classes, the instructor is able to provide one-on-one assistance at the child’s station. You are also not dependent on a good internet connection or having a fully equipped kitchen and a well-stocked pantry. If your child enjoys working with other kids or needs more direct assistance, this is probably the best option for you.
With virtual classes, your child can learn in a familiar environment at your convenience. Since most classes are streamed live, your child can still ask questions and receive verbal help without the additional shyness of being away from home and with people they don’t know. Also, most children are already familiar with the technology and may prefer online instruction. If your child tends to be independent and is uncomfortable in new social environments, virtual classes may work better for them.
There you have it! Crème de la Crème of Chanhassen, MN. just covered our favorite local cooking schools so you can decide which program is best for your chef-to-be. Do you have a class or school that we missed? Let us know, and we’ll add it to our list!