By now, it’s probably not a secret that I love to cook. My husband and I have a dream vacation that includes taking a trip to France together. Once we get there, he heads for the Tour de France, and I take off to attend a cooking school with Patricia Wells. Our children are not incorporated into this dream vacation, which is just fine, as by the time we would be able to afford it they will be quite capable of being on their own for a few weeks.
For now, we watch le Tour on le Television, and I poke around looking for chances to learn more about my passion from the pros. I recently heard about an opportunity to cook with R. Stanley, an amazing chef in Kalamazoo. This is coming up in February, and I started inquiring as soon as I heard.
It didn’t occur to me immediately that the name of the place sponsoring the event was “Young Chef’s Academy“. All I saw was a chance to cook with a master. Once it occured to me that this was a joint for kids, of course I was even more interested.
As it turns out, Young Chef’s Academy is quite the little cooking school. They have weekly classes (a little difficult for those of us in Grand Rapids) but also camps, workshops, birthday parties, and field trips. I quickly signed A.P. up for “Breakfast With Santa”. We cruised down there last weekend, dropped Maybelle off for an afternoon with “Gampa” and were on our way.
The best way to picture this is to think of one of those “meal preparation” kitchens, but designed for kids. The hosts are excellent at communicating with the young ones and explain everything that is happening. And of course, everyone gets a turn to stir, dump, and scoop.
Mid-way through the event, Mr. Claus came strolling through the front door with his lovely bride. They assembled the kids in a story-time type circle and sang a few songs and talked to the Mr. and Mrs. Santa. Each child got to sit on Santa’s lap, and then it was time to get back to work. The kids now had a purpose: French Toast for Santa.
It was quite good, and so was the White Hot Chocolate and Breakfast Cereal Muffins. A.P. had an absolute blast and really enjoyed his table-mates. They all had a good time and were the loudest table by a long shot.
The kids were sent home with the recipes and great memories. Of course we had to make French Toast about 4 times last week, but that’s OK. It will hold me over until I get to make the real thing. Bon appétit!