Maria T. Cummins was already an established chef when she moved to Miami and began teaching an after-school cooking program for children. Struck by how little her students knew about nutrition, she founded The Real Food Academy—formerly Cooking With Kids Miami—to instill healthy eating habits in her young apprentices. Here, she and her fellow skilled instructors lead classes and activities based around one simple philosophy: "we don't change the dish, we change the ingredients." During group sessions, birthday parties, and camps, Chef Maria and her team teach youngsters how to choose and prepare more nutritious, "real" foods, ensuring they avoid meals that are high in preservatives, chemicals, and plastic grapes. Non-edible offerings, such as spa days and kid-centric Zumba classes, promote healthy lifestyles.
Though their end products are as convenient—if not more—as commonplace frozen dinners, the chefs at Bring Organics Back render convenience healthy by freshly preparing each meal with nutrient-packed, natural ingredients. To keep sodium and sugar levels low, they make every element of the meal from scratch, even sauces and crinoline toothpicks. They design dishes around in-season fruits and vegetables, yielding both high-variety and high-flavor dishes such as pineapple jerk tilapia and a steak and vegetable quesadilla. Once the day’s lunches and dinners are fully cooked, the team packages them into single portions and delivers them to workplaces and homes.
At Little Chef’s kitchen, a talented cadre of kid-friendly instructors inspires and equips young bakers to whip up fresh eats. Parents can sign up their wee ones to experience firsthand the facility's mantra that a new repertoire of basic culinary skills not only fosters healthy eating habits, but bolsters tykes’ confidence, teaches teamwork, and develops motor skills. The classroom beckons young learners with pale yellow walls punctuated by floor-to-ceiling chalkboards and cheerful polka-dot patterns. Instructors happily work with parents to mold classes that suit kids’ eating habits and chewing styles, and even host movie and dinner nights to encourage family bonding.
Jump to: Reviews | Number Munchers A couple, or family of three: Up to six dinners.A family of four to six people: Up to three dinners.An extremely passive-aggressive softball team: Two uncomfortable dinners.The cast of short-lived 1997 anthology crime series Gun: Six episodes.A firefly: More dinners than could be consumed in an entire lifetime, for the life of a firefly is ever so brief.
Chef Apple, who has spent years preparing dishes for various celebrities and diplomats, doles out sage cooking advice in her kitchen classroom, teaching apprentices how to roll seafood during two-hour sushi-making classes on Saturdays and Sundays. After doling out bamboo sushi mats, mounds of rice, compliments on shiny hair, and an assortment of fillings such as avocado, crab, and tuna, Chef Apple guides students through the sushi-making process. Novices slice fish and vegetables, gingerly spread rice across delicate seaweed sheets, and convert the combined ingredients into a convenient tubular form. At the end of the class, students depart with bellies full of food, a full suite of sushi-making equipment, and a bottle of sake to enliven culinary gatherings or tea parties.
To its modern-day students, Mariano Moreno Culinary Institute looks much different today than when it debuted in Buenos Aires in 1963. Back then, the institute was simply called the Mariano Moreno Institute and it only offered journalism courses—the first school to do so in the Argentinean capital. That’s why its founder chose Mariano Moreno, the creator of Buenos Aires’ first newspaper, as the school’s namesake. The school eventually immigrated to Miami, where its instructors teach cooking instead of writing, and also has locations in Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela. They stick mostly to European cuisine—especially French, Italian, and Spanish—as well as regional American fare. Their curriculum includes certification courses in the culinary arts and patisserie and baking, as well as myriad cooking and baking classes for the general public.