One way to get your kids to appreciate and respect food is to have them prepare it themselves. Many kids are naturally interested in cooking, and you can translate that natural interest into a memorable party by hiring a trained chef to conduct a group cooking class in your home. Hiring a real chef will delight your child's guests and give your cooking-themed party a professional twist.
Hiring a Chef
Going about finding a chef for your kid's party depends on the availability of chefs for hire in your town or city. Many larger cities are home to companies that hire out professional chefs for private cooking lessons and parties. If you can't find an agency that specifically hires out chefs for parties, try contacting your favorite child-friendly restaurant, cooking school or catering company and see if a chef would be interested in doing a private party.
Your party's menu will depend on the age of the children and what level of difficulty they are able to handle. No matter what age the kids are, however, a cooking party should be more about fun than pulling off a difficult recipe, so keep the recipes simple. Be sure not to plan too much either -- two dishes, such a lunch entree and a dessert, is enough. Pizza, pasta with tomato sauce, cupcakes, ice cream sundaes and salad or fruit skewers with creamy dip are all good choices. If the children are very young, do any necessary prep work like cutting vegetables or mixing up pizza dough before your guests arrive.
If the kids want to be mini-chefs, they need to look the part. Aprons and chef hats will not only get them in the spirit, but also help to keep their party clothes clean. If you're crafty you can make aprons and hats for the kids, or you can buy some inexpensive aprons or paper hats at a dollar or import store. If you have extra time before the chef arrives you can have the kids decorate their plain aprons with fabric paint.
The success of your cooking party lies in the details. Before the kids start cooking put together some blind taste tests so they can explore their senses of taste. To carry on the professional chef theme, decorate your dining room like a restaurant so the kids can eat their homemade food in a fine dining atmosphere. Send each child home with a recipe card detailing the meal they prepared so they can re-create the experience for their own parents at home.
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