If your kid is itching to cook, your family all gets along well, you can shell out a bit of dough for a group cooking lesson, and have room on the calendar this Saturday morning, July 23rd at 10 a.m., then consider the next ‘Lil Chefs class with Executive Chef Steven Mary at Pinot Bistro in Studio City. The three-hour-long, hands-on course costs $90 for one parent and one child, or $125 for two parents + one kid, or $125 for one parent + two kids (ages 7 – 12; cost inclusive of tax and gratuity). So the family dynamic and ratio is up to you, really. Keep reading to learn about what Chef Mary, who has an 8-month-old baby daughter, thinks about cooking with kids, and what he has planned for this Saturday morning.
Have you taught cooking classes for kids before?
I have been teaching kids’ cooking classes for about 10 years now. I have worked with professional horticulturists at the Los Angeles Arboretum/Botanical Gardens over the years as part of the “roots and shoots” program, in addition to conducting various other public and private classes geared toward young people. I believe the Lil’ Chefs cooking classes are a fairly new addition to the offerings by the Patina Restaurant Group. I’m really excited about the opportunity.
What do you think are the most important lessons children should learn in the kitchen?
Mise en place. My favorite interpretation is: “Everything has a place…and everything is in its place.” A valuable lesson for life, that has to do with being prepared, organized and systematic when planning and approaching tasks.
What’s on the menu for Saturday?
Our latest Lil’ Chefs class will feature Cheesy gougère “puffs,” made with a classic French dough called pâte à choux. In addition, we’ll be making a version of chicken pot pie or poulet voulevant, utilizing puff pastry. Saturday’s class will conclude with vanilla bean pot de crème and chocolate eclairs.
Where do you like to eat out with your baby daughter?
We have an 8-month-old daughter, who we are just introducing to purees, so my wife and I will bring along something we have prepared for her, and choose restaurants with lively colorful environments that provide interesting stimulation to occupy the baby’s interest while we enjoy a meal out.
What do you plan to first teach her how to cook when she starts to express interest?
I look forward to introducing our daughter to the exciting culinary world. I can hardly wait to see her expressions as she experiences her fist tastes of foods like peanut butter, citrus, creamy gelato and foie gras (not together necessarily, and not until the appropriate time/age). I imagine we’ll learn to cook oatmeal and eggs initially, perhaps a little baking, whatever the little princess wants to learn before moving onto big game fabrication and sauce making — so much to look forward to!
12969 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604