With miniature aprons and plastic gloves folded neatly in front of them, nine kids paired in groups of three sit at a long table in the Executive Kitchen at Newington's Stew Leonard's, eager to get started. Soon they would be covered in flour.
Stew's is just one of several locations in Connecticut that offers cooking classes for kids of all ages (parents must also be in tow for the younger set). This recent hourlong bread-making class at Stew's instructed children aged 2 to 5 on how to make dough from scratch.
"Kids take turns in the classes. ... and they learn to share," says instructor Bokai Lu. "And they get to meet new friends."
After donning the aprons and gloves and mixing ingredients, the kids shaped the dough into different sized balls, constructing cute bears complete with chocolate chips for eyes. While the dough bear baked, kids were offered juice and did some coloring. They also rolled out the leftover dough, spread it with butter and sprinked it with cinnamon sugar to create delicious baked cinnamon slices.
The kids loved the creation process. Then came the eating.
One finicky bread eater proclaimed the bear "the most delicious thing ever."
Sur La Table in Canton recently launched a Kids in the Kitchen class. During the inaugural class on March 4, kids made homemade tomato soup and a grilled-cheese sandwich.
"They learned several techniques ... how to puree a soup how to make a grilled cheese with a non-stick pan," says Sur La Table's resident chef Deborah Miller. "They learned a lot of French techniques, had fun along the way and ate some really delicious food."
Typically the Kids in the Kitchen classes are geared for ages 8 to 14. Sur LaTable also offers private events for any age, kids and teens camps (check their website for the April school break camps) and they also have Mommy and Me classes (kids can be any age as long an adult accompanies them).
"They get the confidence that they can create something in the kitchen that is not going to come in a paper bag from a fast-food restaurant," says Miller. "They also meet other kids and make new friends. They learn a lot of techniques that will serve them well in every year of their life."
>>Kids in the Kitchen classes at Sur la Table, 110 Albany Turnpike, Suite #609, Canton, are March 18 and 25 ($35 per child, per class); and there is a Family Fun: Italy class scheduled for March 15 ($39). Registration and schedule: www.surlatable.com and 860-693-9560.
>>Upcoming classes at Stew Leonard's, 3475 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, includes March Appetizer Madness on March 22 for ages 6 through 12 ($25 per child); and a Sandwich and Muffins class on March 28 and 29 for children 2 through 5 ($15 per child). Registration and schedule: 860-760-8100 and www.stewleonards.com.
>>Williams-Sonoma at the Westfarms mall in Farmington offers free Junior Chef classes Saturdays in March at 9:30 a.m. (recommended for ages 7 and older). Reservations requested: 860-561-1494.Copyright © 2015, CT Now