The Canal Winchester Times

Class gets junior chefs ready for kitchen

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Groveport is helping a new generation of chefs get cooking at its Junior Chefs classes this month.

Town Hall Program Coordinator Cristy Duckworth is hosting the popular cooking class series for children; the first class Feb. 6 focused on chicken quesadillas.

The city-sponsored classes will rotate between Kidspace and Town Hall, and are directed at children age 7 to 12 years old.

The series has become so popular that even after adding a few extra spots, there is still a waiting list, Duckworth said. In the past, the city has only offered the series once or twice a year, but she said she hopes to make it a more regular feature.

"This will be my first Junior Chef series," Duckworth said. "I've done the Petite Chef series twice before now."

The Petite Chef series has been hosted by the city for several years, giving children ages 5 to 10 a chance to enjoy some age-appropriate cooking and food preparation experiences.

Duckworth said the slightly older age group will allow for menu items that are a bit more complicated.

"It's such a fun class. We are able to work on kitchen safety and learn different terminology, such as the difference between slicing and dicing," Duckworth said.

"With our pasta salad, we'll make vinaigrette, which will allow us to explore why oil and vinegar don't stay mixed, and emulsions."

Besides the chicken quesadillas and the pasta salad with vinaigrette, the junior chefs also will have the opportunity to bake cupcakes from scratch -- and along the way, learn more about the precise measurements necessary for successful baking.

"I really hope these sorts of experiences take the kids beyond their standard chicken nugget or peanut butter and jelly meals, making them open to try other things," Duckworth said.

"If nothing else, I hope they learn not to be afraid to try new foods and to know that they can make something delicious."

Information about future class offerings is available online at www.groveport.org or by calling Town Hall at 614-836-3333.

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