Our kids love cooking and baking. The oldest two get off the bus and almost everyday ask if they can cook or bake something. Sometimes we have the kitchen time to make a mess and bake and other times we don’t. I do try to let them as much as possible. They learn a lot, work together, and usually end up with something pretty tasty (which I can’t eat!). This weekend, we were invited to Maggiano’s Kids Cooking Class; to say that we all had a great time would be an understatement.
About Maggiano’s Kids Cooking Class
Many of the Maggiano’s offer Kids Cooking Classes. They offer things from making lasagna all the way to making homemade pasta. The restaurant even has murder mysteries set up for adult-only classes. Check out their website and schedule to see the line up at a restaurant near you. When you come to a kids class, you get the opportunity to spend quality and unique time with your child or children. They will get their hands dirty (but not too dirty, they did provide gloves) while preparing one of Maggiano’s classic Italian-American dishes with the Executive Chef. And the true bonuses, you don’t have to clean up any of the mess or dishes and you get to bring home a dish to eat later. You will also have the opportunity to tour Maggiano’s state-of-the-art kitchen and restaurant depending on the hour of the class!
We were directed to the room where our class would be held. Upon arrival, the kids were shown the table where they would decorate their own chef’s hats to be worn during the cooking part of the class. There were so many stickers and markers. Everybody was happy to make a custom hat.
While the children made their hats, the adults were told to grab a beverage (the kids could get one too), and told the schedule for the rest of our late morning class. We were shown where we would be making our dish, what we would be making (lasagna) and more importantly, where we would be sitting to eat first. It’s definitely true that having full tummies makes children a lot more attentive.
There was also a question and answer session with the chef. Those kids asked some really good questions like what does it take to become a chef, what path did our Executive Chef take to becoming a chef to what is the most popular meal served.
After our Q&A session, we moved away from the cooking area and over to some side tables where a buffet had been prepared. It was full of caesar salad, alfredo mac n’ cheese, four-cheese ravioli and homemade crispy chicken tenders. We were also served warm bread to our tables.
Restaurant and Kitchen Tour
After bellies were full, it was time for our restaurant and kitchen tour. We spent most of the time in the kitchen, seeing the expo line and meeting some other chefs. We were all surprised at just how small the kitchen area is. And maybe those of us with a few kids were slightly envious of the commercial dishwasher! The kids were able to ask more questions here, too! The chefs were so kind and patient with the questions, too.
After the kitchen, we found our way over to the bakery where the kids learned they were each going to get to take home their very own homemade cheesecake in either vanilla, banana or chocolate. There were squeals of joy, followed quickly by each of my children showing me that they got chocolate. That’s really no surprise. The children learned that everything at Maggiano’s is homemade and that the chefs (especially the pastry chefs) get there very early in the morning to start cooking or they come in midday and stay well into the night.
Let’s Make Lasagna
It was now time to make our lasagna! Each kiddo had their own spot with their custom chef hat, a disposable apron and a set of disposable gloves to get started. At their station, they found their container to make lasagna, a set of homemade noodles, marinara sauce, meat, ricotta cheese filling and a mixture of mozzarella and parmesan cheese and one spoon. I’m a big fan of how they minimized it to just one spoon!
The Chef first told us a quick run down and made sure we were all prepared to make lasagna and then it was time to get started. First we layered our marinara sauce.
Then there was more layers with noodles, cheese filling, cheese blend and meat.
The Chef told us what layer was next at each step and he also came by to check to see if we had any questions or needed any help.
Of course, each child made their lasagna to their specifications, too. The oldest included almost no cheese (and surprisingly, it stayed together very well as she ate it the next day). The second oldest followed directions to a “t” and hers definitely came out the prettiest. The youngest two just sort of did their own thing.
I think that’s the beauty of lasagna. Each person can make it their own way and add their own flare and at the end of the day, it’s still pretty much lasagna and odds are it will taste pretty good.
Once they were all done, we sealed them with a lid and packed them to take them home. We were also given cooking directions so that they could be enjoyed at a later date.
Once the lasagna was all packed up, there was one more thing. DESSERT! The kids and adults were treated to an assortment of homemade desserts. The chef was concerned there wasn’t a serving utensil. All of the moms knew that it was too late, there were desserts…the kids had it taken care of.
While they were munching on their desserts, the children were issued custom certificates as well as a punch card for returning back for another cooking class. When the punch card is completed, the child will receive their very own chef shirt! That added some motivation for sure!
These classes are perfect for birthday parties, little chefs in the making or to just have some fun! Make sure you check out their website and eventbrite schedule to see when the next cooking class is nearby and sign up. All four of our kids (ages 11 to 4) had a great time. We will definitely do it again and maybe figure out how to get a sitter for an adult only class.
What did you do this week?
GET IN THE PICTURE WITH YOUR KIDS! Who cares what you look like? Cares how you appear? Who cares what you are wearing? JUST DO IT! Come share your picture on the Facebook thread or use #MommyAndMeMonday!
It’s time again for Mommy and Me Monday. Pop out from behind that camera and capture yourself in action with your kids. Check out the inaugural Mommy and Me Monday for more information. Need another reason to participate in Mommy and Me Monday? Read my post about why I blog with words from a friend’s husband.