Luxury Hotels Encourage Budding Chefs with Fun Cooking Classes
Who knows where the next Julia Child, Mario Batali, or Gordon Ramsay may be? askes The Leading Hotels of the World luxury hospitality chain. Many Leading Hotels offer programs created specifically to introduce children to the fun and joy of cooking, with hands-on classes. Among the host of activities that Anassa on Cyprus offers to keep children engaged and occupied is the resort’s Little Master Chef program. Youngsters get the opportunity to pick herbs and fruits with the chef, as well as prepare a dish under his guidance. To commemorate the experience, they receive a child-sized apron, chef’s hat and a copy of the recipe they made.
Families staying at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, from now until the end of May can benefit from the All About Kids Package. The three-night offer includes a Saturday cooking class for kids ages 5 to 12 taught by one of the chefs at Piazzetta, the resort’s Tuscany-inspired marketplace and restaurant. During the hour-long session, the children make their own pizzas from scratch and watch them bake in the brick pizza oven. Plus they get to take home their chef’s hat and apron.
Little chefs can make it big at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst, where the cooking class for children with Chef Mirko Gaul is based on healthy as well as tasty cuisine. During this course the kids will gain first-hand experience in the kitchen and may stir the pots like a professional cook. To warm up, the children may test their skills at mixing “cocktails”. Subsequently they will prepare a three-course-menu together and then savor the culinary masterstroke
One of the newer members of Leading Hotels – Constance Lémuria Resort– includes a cooking class as part of the kid’s weekly activity program. On Sundays, the kids are dressed up in their ‘mini chef’ uniform comprising trousers, shirt, hat, and apron. The Kids Attendants explain the activity, giving the aspiring chefs full details of the ingredients which will be used for the session. Participants then proceed to make waffles, all the while being closely monitored by the attendants. The results of the exercise then become part of the menu for the children’s tea break.
The Biltmore in Coral Gables, Florida, has had a recreational cooking school since 2008. Offered during the hotel’s summer camp sessions, hands-on cooking classes for young guests are taught by Biltmore chef instructors with special workshops by the acclaimed hotel chefs. The week-long offerings are open to children ages 8 to 16, and limited to 15 participants, to ensure individualized attention. Each day, a different cuisine is explored such as French, Asian, Italian and Latin. Once the dishes are complete, kids eat the fruits of their labors, and discuss what they prepared with the chefs, what went right and what may have gone wrong.
What could be more natural than children learning to cook at an Italian hotel? At Villa San Michele outside Florence, the Young Chefs Academy gets future culinary greats off on the right foot. Classes are offered in June, July and August for ages 6 to 14.
Also in Italy, at L’Andana in Castglione della Pescaia, children’s cooking classes are offered twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, from March to January. Each class lasts for two hours and includes a visit with the Chef to the hotel’s garden to choose the best herbs, vegetables and fruits – including fresh, natural snacks. Produce from the garden is then incorporated in the recipes of the lesson, which may include pizza, fresh pasta, chocolate desserts, muffins or fruit cake.