Everyone in my household loves to cook; myself, my husband and now my son.  I come by it naturally.  My mom was traditionally Italian and as a teenager, she liked when I hung around the kitchen with her…making all kinds of homemade dishes like cavatellis from scratch, steamed artichokes with lemon, butter and garlic and sausage, potatoes and peas (a traditional Italian peasant dish) just to name a few (but she couldn’t make a pot of coffee to save her life, my aunt would always jokingly say.)  And lucky for me, I married an ex-chef that used to work in Manhattan during his summers home from college.  Even though he doesn’t cook for a living anymore, he makes all kinds of wonderfully exotic cuisines like Indian and Thai food in our aromatic kitchen, which are just amazing.  So it would only be fitting that my son would learn to love his way around the kitchen as well.  I’ve always wanted to find where I could expand his cooking education and searched around Queens to find some programs that would offer cooking classes to kids in his age group.  Lucky for me, I’ve found some.  Here are our best picks for kid’s cooking classes in Queens. Bon Appétit!

YOUNG CHEFS ACADEMY – Forest Hills, NY

This is an all-encompassing and wide ranging culinary school that caters to children ages 3-14.  They are full-service operation, offering such services as weekly cooking classes (with several different age accommodations), birthday parties, a chefs club (to take advantage of extra offered benefits) and a Master Chefs program for kids that are really into cooking and may potentially pursue it as a future, lifelong career.  Not only will they be doing hands-on cooking, but they will learn the essentials of getting around the kitchen…food prep and presentation, essential safety skills in the kitchen and learning the right way to manage and handle food.  They also offer a cooking camp and special event workshops.  http://www.youngchefsacademy.com/stores/index.php?id=187

ALLEY POND ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER – Douglaston, NY

APEC has an extensive cooking program called the ‘Young APEC Chef’s Program’ and it’s quite the scrumptious experience.   Every month, they offer and prepare themed dishes for kids’ ages 7-10.  Tasty morsels like “Ham & Cheese Batwiches” for a Halloween culinary themed adventure, a warm Alphabet Soup cooking session for the approaching cold weather and a gingerbread house build-off for the forthcoming Christmas holidays.  Class sizes are limited so your children get the best cooking experience that money can buy these days.  All of your class materials are included in their fee.  If you’re interested, please check their calendar for the upcoming schedule and call ahead to make your reservations.  http://www.alleypond.com/weekend_drop_off.html