I'm not sure it says great things about our society that we're taking our kids to strip malls in the suburbs to teach them to cook. But setting all that aside for a minute, I will say that a kindergarten birthday at Young Chefs Academy is as deliciously adorable as it gets.
Imagine 20 kids, two instructors and a birthday party centered around making pizzas. The parents aren't allowed in the room, but they can sit and watch the festivities. The excitement starts off with a lesson in hand-washing, followed by an explanation of yeast and how to "wake it up." There's a tutorial in kneading dough (Press. Fold. Turn.) and a kitchen-equipment lesson in which the tiny chefs are introduced to whisks, teaspoons and juicers.
It's interactive, educational and efficient, as birthday parties go, and since most multi-generational cooking experiences at my house culminate with a spill, a stain, a clenched jaw and ultimately some takeout, an outing at Young Chefs Academy is brilliant. And the party favor of a bowl scraper was actually useful.
Located in Cool Springs, Young Chefs Academy offers age-appropriate classes, camps, birthday parties and other activities for kids age 3 and up.