My husband and I always knew our kids would grow up with some kind of “food” interest, since both of us are restauranteurs. What surprised us though was our children’s early interest in wanting to take cooking classes, repeatedly asking us to sign them up for one. We notice their interest in becoming budding Chef’s after watching FOX’s hit TV show MasterChef Junior which aired early in 2014.
After repeated inquiry’s as to “when” they could take a cooking class we caved in. Upon arrival to Dubai I decided to see if there were any cooking classes for the kids. To my surprise, they had several! Since my children are home schooled, I was looking for a course that would include at least 3-4 hours of culinary instruction in the mornings as part of their hands-on learning experience. SCAFA (School of Culinary and Finishing Arts) located in JLT responded, creating a program to fit our needs, while incorporating their already successful Mini Master Chef program where children learn a range of basic and advanced skills, alongside etiquette and hygiene in a fun and friendly environment.
So for the next 3 weeks, our children would attend 6 culinary courses which included cooking styles from Asia, Middle East and Europe.
Parents are encouraged to check out the facilities and you can stop by to check in on your kids, although I wouldn’t advise it since they did and do get distracted from their lesson. Jaf was not happy I “invaded his space” by being there, and quickly kicked me out of the kitchen.
I won’t go into the details of each session. But what I will tell you is how much the course has opened their eyes to world of culinary arts. They are much more interested in the food they eat, where it comes from and how its made. Learning to follow recipes, measure and mix ingredients and how to handle knives instills confidence in young children, especially when the lessons come from a real-life professional chefs.
My children now spend most of the time in kitchen wanting to make their own breakfast, lunch and sometimes even dinner – saving us a whole lot of money since we don’t go out for dinners as much as we used to. They are keen to go grocery shopping whenever possible and make better choices when it comes to eating whenever we dine out as a family.
Enrolling children into a cooking school or class at a young age is a great way to introduce them to the beautiful world of food. It is especially important if your children are “picky eaters”, since many children are much more open to trying new things if its made and cooked by themselves.
You never know, you may find out you’ve got a Master Chef on your hands!