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Kids’ Cooking Camps throughout the metro area

Jenny Turknett, Southern and Neighborhood Fare

Jenny Turknett

We were all so ready for the lazy days of summer to begin.

But, now, as lazy gives way to boredom, get the kids in the kitchen for a little fun and — shhh, don’t tell! — some education along the way.

Cooking classes for kids now stretch beyond assembling a few low-prep ingredients.

Kids are doing some serious cooking in kitchens all around Atlanta. Through recipes, they explore different cultures and dabble in a little history and math. Check out one of these spots that offer such cooking experiences for kids.

For a full list of camps, classes and pricing see each facility’s website.

Young Chef's Academy (credit: Jenny Turknett)

Young Chef's Academy (photo credits: Jenny Turknett)

Young Chef’s Academy

Cooking programs occur in colorful kid-centric kitchens at Young Chef’s Academy. This summer, “Camp Can-I-Cook” takes the front burner for kids ages four through teens. During the camp, which is divided into three age groups, kids whip up three to four recipes a day while learning “a pinch of math, world geography, health, culture, literature and science.”

Each week of camp features a different theme. In “Food Network Kitchens,” for example, culinary campers replicate recipes of Food Network favorites and imagine themselves as Giada De Laurentiis, Guy Fieri, Rocco DiSpirito or Rachael Ray for a day.

220 Hammond Drive, NE, Sandy Springs. 404-255-9263.

Salud Cooking School

Salud Cooking School

Salud Cooking School, Whole Foods Market

At Salud Cooking School, immerse your child in a week-long culinary camp or choose from a variety of themed three-hour classes, many of which are taught by Antonio Matarese, who cooked for President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter at the Carter Presidential Center. After a three-hour class, your child may come home ready to make nigiri sushi from the sushi class or chicken burgers with avocado sauce from the grilling class.

At Salud students ages 6-15 embark on a culinary world tour through Italy, Spain, Greece, Asia and the Caribbean as they learn to make dishes authentic to each region. At the conclusion of each day, campers lunch on the fruits of their labor. On the last day of camp, each participant invites one guest to enjoy the final feast.

Whole Foods Market, 5945 State Bridge Road, Duluth.

Hal’s Kitchen

Opening this July, Hal’s Kitchen has a slew of camps and classes planned for both kids and adults. Kids ages 7-10 can take a trip “Around the World in a Pan” and learn to make dishes such as fresh Italian mozzarella from curd or Thai chicken satay. Alternately, kids can cook closer to home in the “U.S. of Eating” camp while making regional specialties such as New England clam chowder or Cincinnati chili.

But, the don’t-miss cooking experience of the summer is the “Hogwarts at Hal’s” class. Timed with the opening day of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, Harry Potter fans will make specialties such as butterbeer, cauldron cakes, pumpkin pasties and chocolate frogs either before or after seeing the movie.

206-B Johnson Ferry Road, Sandy Springs. 404-847-6991.

Publix Apron’s Cooking School

Alpharetta’s Publix Apron’s Cooking School offers camps for kids and teens taught by instructors with culinary degrees. Camps here emphasize overcoming fears in the kitchen and helping children and teens ages 8-18 feel comfortable in a kitchen environment.

Camps have daily themes, which may focus on location-specific cuisines or on skills and techniques. Teen chefs learn knife skills, sanitation and safety, nutrition and how to prepare the mother sauces. While there are currently openings for July, book your child’s spot soon because they sell out each year.

4305 State Bridge Road, Alpharetta. 770-751-8560.

The Cook’s Warehouse

The Cook’s Warehouse offers a variety of classes for children and teens ages 3-17 at multiple locations. One upcoming class is led by Yvette Garfield, author of “Handstand Kids Cookbook Kits.” These kits guide families in exploring different cultures through cooking. During this class at the Decatur location, participants will make recipes from the “Handstand Kids Italian Cookbook.” Two sessions will be offered on July 14: one for ages 3-5 (10 a.m.- noon) and one for ages 6-9 (1-3 p.m.). See website for additional classes and locations.

Decatur location, 180 West Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 404-377-4005. $45.

Viking Cooking School

With options for kids 7-12, teens 12-15 and families, Viking School has something for everyone. The younger group can participate in camps that take them on an American tour while teens take the international tour with small plates from around the world. Families can work together to make party food, pasta and pizza. See website for full class details, schedule and pricing information. 1745 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-745-9064.

California Pizza Kitchen

Maybe you are looking for a cooking experience for a younger crowd. All California Pizza locations in Atlanta (except Lenox) will host a behind-the-scenes restaurant tour and pizza-making session for kids under ten years of age. Participants also receive a coupon for a free kid’s meal on a future visit. The cost of the tour is $10 per child with a maximum of 15 children. Tours are free for school groups and nonprofit organizations. California Pizza Kitchen also provides CPKid patches for scouting groups if requested in advance. Contact specific locations to schedule your group. See website for locations in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Marietta and Norcross.

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