Kids Cooking Classes in NJ
Could your kid be the next Gordon Ramsey or Emeril Lagasse if only they had proper instruction? Here are places around the state that can give them the skills to be a star in the kitchen.
Do you love cooking shows like Chopped Junior? If your kid has seen the show and is itching to learn, here are some places around the state that could help your kid become a culinary star. At the very least it might mean you get a night or two off from making dinner!
213 Newark Ave., Jersey City
Specializing in the littlest chefs, kids as young as three get their hands dirty making cookies, healthy school lunches and yummy veggie-filled treats. Try summer and winter camp, the after-school enrichment program or cooking playdates (where you can plan meet-ups with your kid and four of their pals … with no clean-up for you). Be sure to check out “Date Night Fridays,” where you drop off the kids to cook and get a night to yourself. Three-class packages start at $75, drop-ins start at $30. Ages 4–15.
Chef It Up
This cooking school specializes in parties (they’ll even come to you) and also offers regular classes at their Nutley location. Kids can learn everything from pasta-making to cupcake-decorating. Have a child with a nut allergy? All food items are guaranteed peanut- and tree nut-free. Classes start at $30 per person. Ages 3 and up.
710 South Ave. West, Westfield
Chefs here emphasize the importance of gardening and farm-to-table cuisine. They also offer private lessons for all ages, camps for kids as young as four years old, cooking classes for adults (many of which allow teens), “Mommy and Me” classes and birthday parties. Students learn the fundamentals of Italian cuisine, breakfast foods or cakes. Individual classes start at $70, and three-day camps start at $150. Ages 4 and up.
“Cutie Cooks” (kindergarten through second grade) teaches kids the cooking terms and techniques they need to create their own smoothies, pastas and muffins. “Junior Chefs” (third to sixth grade) get to learn about a different country’s cuisine each week. If sweets are more their thing, kids can try “Cupcake-alicious,” where they’ll learn pro decorating tips and take home three finished cupcakes per week. Each session runs for 10 weeks. 10-week classes are $390 plus a $50 registration fee. Ages 5-14.
Kings Cooking Studio
778 Morris Tpke., Short Hills
Head to this hands-on cooking class where courses include topics like “Fall Fish,” which teaches students how to make cornbread crusted shrimp with Creole filling, or seared scallops with pumpkin risotto. There are also workshops and cooking camps for tweens and teens. Single sessions are $55, and five-day workshops start at $300. Ages vary.
Le Gourmet Factory
176A South Van Burnt St., Englewood
This place focuses on getting your mini-chefs to transform “typical” kids’ dishes into healthier creations. In after-school programs and six-week boot camps kids will learn how to make things like Tex Mex chili, turkey mini meatloaves and chocolate chip banana muffins. Individual, holiday-themed, date night and “Mommy and Me” classes are also offered. $85 for individual classes, $375 for five-day camps. Ages 6–14.
42 Liberty Corner Rd., Warren
22 Church St., Bernardsville
Send your picky eater here: PEP Club teaches kids easy dishes (think French toast, cookies and pies) and incorporates kid-friendly characters (like Olaf) into pancakes. These hour-long sessions also squeeze in a math lesson (measuring), give kitchen safety guidance and teach kids to clean up when they’re done. After eating their handmade treats, mini-chefs can burn off some energy at the kids’ gym right in the same building. Cooking camps are two days long and cost $25 each. Single classes are $20 each. Ages 3-12.
Ridgewood Culinary Studio
223 Chestnut St., Ridgewood
Traditional cooking classes covering pastas, soups, stews and more are on the agenda here. But the real fun comes at camp time, when aspiring cooks take field trips to different local restaurants (specializing in a variety of cuisines) to get a behind-the-scenes look at a professional kitchen. They also offer Mommy & Me cake-and cupcake-making. Prices start at $25 for one-time classes, and $150 for a six-week session. Ages 6-14.
Taste & Technique
597 River Rd., Fair Haven
Workshops here include classes like “American Girl in the Kitchen,” where kids learn about the origin country of three American Girl dolls, or how to make gorgeous Thanksgiving-themed desserts. There are also classes for teens and regular, after-school course offerings. Camps start at $90, individual lessons start at $45. Ages vary.
Young Chefs Academy
712 Ginesi Dr., Morganville
Toddlers can cook, too! Kids as young as three years old can enroll in the “Kinder Cook” program, where they’ll learn about food preparation, nutrition and sanitation—all while tackling a different style of food each week. They also offer summer break and holiday camps, semi-private and special needs classes. Prices and ages vary.
Locations in Jersey City, Red Bank, Morristown and Ridgewood
Feel like a staffer when you sign up for a course at legendary Carlo’s Bakery (of TLC’s Cake Boss fame). Kids learn to create masterpieces out of fondant in the two-hour-long “Cupcake Flower,” “Piping” and “Bow Creating” classes. $125 per class. Ages 10 and up.
105 Main St., Millburn
These guys are expert decorators and your kid will be too, after one of their cookie-cupcake or cake-decorating classes. Try one of their specialty events like “Grace’s Tea Party,” which teaches kids to make macarons like the American Girl doll Grace does (dolls are welcome). “Mommy/Daddy and Me” classes are also offered (so everyone can get in on dessert). $40 per class. Ages vary.
Based in Union (pictured above), you don’t even have to leave your house for these classes—they’ll come to you with all the goodies you need for cookie-making. Chefs will show you how to decorate with fondant and how to make bread. Arrange a personal session, where your kid can make anything they’re interested in, from candy-making to a perfect pie crust—a great gift for your budding baker. $200 per private lesson. Ages 2 and up.