Without helpful cooking classes, young chefs will seek culinary inspiration from their toys, leading to unsavory clothed potatoes and surprisingly bland Skeletor flambé. Skirt the influence of plastic, furry-underpantsed barbarians with today's Groupon: for $37, you get two classes for one child at Katie's Cooking School in Encino. Regular classes for 5- through 14-year-olds meet Wednesday and Friday at 4:15 p.m. and Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m.
Opened in February 2009, Katie's Cooking School places budding kinderchefs in a warm, fun, home kitchen-like atmosphere to build confidence and self-sufficient home cooking skills. Your Groupon is good for any two of Katie's classes. Each child will learn the basics of measurement, basic cooking techniques, the chemistry of snacktioneering, and the controversial history of Go-Gurt. Group recipes rotate with the seasons and holidays, but are always both kid friendly and sophisticated. Other options include Parents' Night Out on Fridays and Saturdays, which lets moms and dads enjoy a night of salsa dancing or mailbox baseball while whippersnappers whip up treats, then eat them while watching a kiddie flick. Parents interested in tagging along with their young gastronomes can join the Mommy and Me classes, designed for cooks aged five and younger on Thursdays and select Sundays.
Cabinets and traditional residential appliances furnish the fancy facilities inside Katie's Cooking School to emulate the modern home scullery—with the clean, 2,400-square-foot space designed to catch any mess and filter French onion soup run-off back into the Seine. Katie and her dad, Jeff, are helpful and receptive to all questions, and your child will leave with life skills such as manners, table setting, food presentation, and safety. Call ahead to schedule your class.