The seeds of chefhood blossom from the very first dashes of salt and cinnamon that grace a child's suppertime lima beans. Foster youthful culinary exploration with today's Groupon: for $25, you get a $50 gift certificate for classes, camps, and parties at Young Chefs Academy, located in Gahanna.
The engaging instructors at Young Chefs Academy's Gahanna location prepare lessons of kitchen etiquette and safety for youngsters growing up in a world full of laser can openers and sharp pasta rakes, giving children a capable handle on their surroundings as they journey into the land of food. Classes ($30) educate a variety of age groups, with specially catered classes for the kindergarten elite (ages 3–6) and junior line cooks (ages 6–13), combining nutritional meals with basic food-prep skills that teach how to correctly follow a recipe to edible fruition. Senior flambéists (ages 12+) choose from advanced classes that dig deeper into kitchen secrets and hone specific skills and techniques that expand the parameters of cooking creativity.
Alternately, children may enjoy a palatable, dough-tossing soiree with one of Young Chefs Academy's party packages, such as the Rock Star Karaoke Party ($300 for 10 guests, $15 for each additional guest), which coaches culinary cubs ages 6 and up in creating their own signature pizzas and decorating microphone cupcakes before jumping on a real mike to belt out their favorite cake-related verses from "MacArthur Park." Parties typically last 90 minutes and include an apron for the chef of honor and drinks, a chef hat, and recipe card for each guest.
Finally, culinary imaginations run wild during summer camps in two-, three-, and four-day packages for each age category. Campers learn a bevy of gastronomic skills in themed camps such as Chef Wars ($140), running August 3–5, which separates chefs ages 11–15 into groups to compete in a reality-show-style game, preparing, plating, and serving feasts to culinary judges who score them on technique, flavor, teamwork, and quality of on-camera psychological meltdowns.
Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna
The kitchen can seem bewildering to a child peering up at the many colanders, peelers, and skillets on the shelves, but a lesson from the trained cooks at Young Chefs Academy of Gahanna quickly demystifies kitchen utensils and cooking techniques. Weekly classes introduce kids to culinary concepts that vary each month, and full-day camps explore the culinary traditions of different countries and time periods. Weekend events highlight exotic dishes or take children on cartoon-themed picnics. In addition to kid-friendly offerings, the academy hosts team-building exercises for adults and businesses, pitting friends and coworkers against one another in Iron Chef competitions with all food, recipes, and English overdubs provided.