©istockphoto.com / FatCamera

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!

Chef It Up

Various locations
973-542-8542

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. Ages 3 and up.

Classic Thyme

710 South Ave. West, Westfield
908-232-5445

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. Ages 4 and up.

The Farm Cooking School

67 Pleasant Valley Rd., Titusville
646-236-0605

Kids cooking classes include knife skills and world cuisines including dishes from France, Mexico, Italy, the Mediterranean and India! Students learn the fundamentals of Italian cuisine, breakfast foods or cakes. They have special family events like the Family Pizza Party using their wood-fired outdoor pizza oven. All classes include lunch, cover at least 3 dishes and many techniques to build cooking skills. They are located on a working organic vegetable farm, and emphasize fresh ingredients.

Kid Chef Nette

302 Quail Ridge Dr., Plainsboro
609-733-8573

Sign up for an after school program where your kid will learn a variety of sweet and savory recipes. They will learn baking and decorating tips, too.

Kings Cooking Studio

778 Morris Tpke., Short Hills
973-258-4009

Head to this hands-on cooking class, or there are also workshops and cooking camps for tweens and teens. Ages vary.

Ridgewood Culinary Studio

223 Chestnut St., Ridgewood
201-447-2665

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 get a behind-the-scenes look at a professional kitchen. They also offer Mommy & Me cake-and cupcake-making. Ages 6-16.

Taste & Technique

597 River Rd., Fair Haven
732-741-2665

Workshops here include classes like “Favorite Foods with a Twist,” where kids put a new spin on their favorite dishes. There are also classes for teens and regular, after-school course offerings. 

Splurge Bakery

105 Main St., Millburn
973-379-0740

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 or a “Mommy/Daddy and Me” class (so everyone can get in on dessert). Ages vary.

Sweet Samantha

Springfield Twp.
973-445-1620

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. Ages 8-16.

Young Chefs Academy

712 Ginesi Dr., Marlboro
732-536-7777

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. Ages vary.

Read More: 
5 Crock-Pot Dinner Recipes You Should Make This Week
Dirt and Worms Cupcakes 
5 New Ways to Make Healthy Chicken Fingers