From Our Editors
Chef Toni Willard-Young wears more than one hat in her life. She earned her puffy cook's hat as a master chef with two decades of professional experience, but she's also a parent committed to healthy eating, seasonal produce, and hormone-free meats. Though her kitchen skills have earned her praise from the press as well as catering commissions from politicians and the embassy of her native South Africa, Chef Toni spends most of her time considering how cooking can make a positive impact in children's lives.
At her cooking school, called CTCA for short, Chef Toni's primary aim is introducing children to kitchen safety, food skills, and healthy eating early on. The school's philosophy stresses farm-to-table cooking and encourages youngsters to pick up social skills and nutritional knowledge as they learn to cook. Along with classes that cover cooking and etiquette, CTCA hosts private events and regular Tween Culinary Socials, where attendants casually learn new recipes, listen to pop music, and share images of their creations on social-networking platforms. Though most classes are for kids, a BYOB parents' class imparts healthy recipes designed to appeal to children, who otherwise tend to eat still-life paintings of fruit instead of the real thing until they hit puberty.