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Level 1 Culinary Academy Ages 11-16

In this 5-day Culinary Academy, students will be introduced, hands-on, to all the aspects of the kitchen. They'll learn about kitchen equipment, safety, knife skills, and hygiene. Then the real fun begins as each camper will make their own foods like pizza, tacos, and the 5 mother sauces. We'll have a day of flavor dynamics where we focus on tasting and understanding the foundations of flavor. On the last day, things will heat up with a secret ingredient competition!

  • Classes are five consecutive days (Mon-Fri). Each class is two hours.
  • Classes are limited to 7 students
  • Each student cooks individually at their own cooktop/prep station. No groups. 
  • 6 feet between cook stations and dining seats.
  • Every student will learn every aspect, not just bits and pieces. Hands-on learning.
  • Every day, campers will cook a full meal, and usually have leftovers to take home! 

Monday - Knife Skills 101
Look sharp and be safe! Campers will learn how to safely use a knife to chop, dice, and julienne. Today's menu features tacos with all the fixin's. Students will use their knife skills to prep all the ingredients themselves. Chef will talk about the many herbs and spices used in Latin cooking. Then it’s time to put together the tacos and top with the self-made salsa. Campers will cut up mangoes for a sweet treat.

Tuesday - Kitchen Skills 101
Students begin the day learning about kitchen equipment, kitchen safety, hygiene, and culinary terminology. Chef will lead campers through making pizza dough. Then, each student will make their own pan-grilled pizzas, one savory and one sweet. As a bonus, students will learn different ways to tie dough so they can make pizza knots at home!

Wednesday - 5 Mother Sauces
The 5 Mother Sauces are the backbone of any good chef, essential to making all your favorite meals. Here campers will learn the foundations of really good cooking and are taught to explore their creative side. Stock, roux, bechamel, veloute, espagnole, tomato, hollandaise, oh my! Each camper makes their own alfredo sauce to be enjoyed with pasta. Balanced with a salad and self-made vinaigrette with fruit on the side.

Thursday - Flavor Dynamics
Salty, Sweet, Bitter, Sour, and Umami. We all know what they taste like, but do we know how to balance and combine them into amazing dishes every time? Probably not. That's what this class is about. Students will train their palates to taste each of these individually, and how they interact when used with each other and on meats and vegetables. We'll also cover how to use different sources of salt, acids, fats, herbs, and spices that come from many cultures around the world.  The canvas will be noodles, and we're going to paint them with flavor!

Friday - Secret Ingredient Competition
The whole week leads up to this. Students take everything they’ve learned throughout the week and put it on display.  It’s a fun and friendly competition, and everyone at The Learning Kitchen is a winner, but our judge will have the tough task of choosing the cook that best demonstrates what they've learned! The pantry will be stocked and the stage will be set, then 3 secret ingredients will be revealed so the young chefs can wow the judge. Chef will offer guidance and answer any questions to help students make their best effort. The judge will be paying attention to taste, technique, creativity, and presentation. In the end, the top chef will be awarded a prize!

Skills Learned:

  •   Kitchen safety
  •   Kitchen equipment
  •   Knife skills/safety
  •   Stove/Oven use
  •   Nutrition
  •   Flavor Dynamics
  •   Mise en Place
  •   Temp. Control
  •   Recipe reading
  •   Measuring
  •  Mixing/whisking
  •  Herb & Spice identification
  •  Time Management
  •  Creativity
  •  Pan-frying/Sauté
  •  Searing
  •  Sauce making
  •  Emulsifying
  •  Vinaigrettes

Chef Instructor: 

Our recipes use common ingredients that may or may not be specified in the menu, including various fruits and vegetables, nuts, meats, spices, wheat flours, etc. If you have a food allergy or dietary restriction we should be aware of, please call or email before attending the class. We may or may not be able to accommodate.

A minimum 14-day notice via phone or in-person is required for class cancellations. If you are unable to attend a class, you are encouraged to send someone in your place. We cannot make exceptions.

Got questions? Call, email, or check our FAQ page.

Classes are two hours, but duration is approximate and may vary by 10-15 minutes, it is best to plan accordingly.

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Ages 11-16. Price is per student.


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Included Materials



This class cannot be purchased online. Please contact the store for more information.