Move over Mario Batali! A bunch of elementary school kids are coming for your spatula!
That’s the hope of Carmel resident Stephanie Drewry as she has opened her own cooking school for kids as young as 3 years old. It’s called Sprouts Cooking School, a licensed business she runs out of her home to help kids ages 3 to 11 learn how to make delicious creations in the kitchen.
The booming business — she sold out classes in her first few weeks — all started when the 33-year-old elementary education major was looking for a way to help her own kids indulge their love of food and cooking.
“They’re really inspired by Master Chef Junior and Cupcake Wars,” she said. “There’s this whole new generation of foodies, but no cooking schools for kids.”
She decided to transform a room in her Carmel house into a professional business space. Real elementary school tables and specially ordered plastic safety knives for children. Pendant lighting like you’d find in a kitchen. Fully insured and ready to go. She launched in June only to find her eight-week sessions filling up fast.
“I guess I found this untapped market and it’s gotten quite big,” she said. “I’m very grateful for it.”
There are three different age groups: 3 to 4, 5 to 7 and 8 to 11. She said there’s interest in doing classes all the way up to age 13 and she’s squeezed in time to do some private birthday parties as well. She’ll offer special classes for the holidays soon.
Under constant supervision, kids make everything from cupcakes to muffins to mini meatloafs to egg frittatas. Classes each have a theme, such as the movie “Frozen,” which allowed kids to make cupcakes inspired by the snowman Olaf. It’s like arts and crafts, but edible. And it teaches kids to follow instructions and use both fine and large motor skills, depending on their age group.
Drewry will incorporate a vocabulary word into classes, such as “sifting” or “leveling” and use the word again and again to help teach the concepts. She said it’s not only a great educational experience for kids, but she thinks it can help picky eaters try new foods.
“If they cook it themselves, they are more willing to try it,” she said.
The kids made and ate smoothies, vegan muffins, feta salsa and more.
All safety precautions are followed. Kids don’t work over a stove and Drewry uses the oven herself.
“Whatever your Pinterest dreams are, they’ll be in my class,” she said.
If business keeps expanding, she said she’s open to the idea of working out of a brick and mortar building, but for now she’s happy to keep it in her home.
For more information, visit sproutscookingschool.com.