Master Chef Junior. Kids Baking Championship. ‘Chopped’ Junior. Kids cooking is having a moment.


(Parker and her best friend, Jamie, with me in the ICE kitchens)

The shows are spectacularly produced, the tiny contestants are on the brink of becoming sous chefs at Eleven Madison and James and I are sufficiently intimidated to throw down our aprons and order in from Sammy’s Noodle Shop. You can see that I have mixed feelings about the shows.

But what I do love, is that the entertainment has transformed the kitchen into a playground, an art studio- even a science lab. It’s not just about cookie dough or pizza crust or a really juicy piece of chicken, but, about making the “best-ever,” learning the tricks, asking “Why?”

I began creating a class and a menu in my head for Parker and her friends. What were their favorite foods? Which bits of kitchen science would blow their mind? Which skills and knowledge would make them honest-to-goodness better cooks at home?

Et voila. That’s how my “Kids Kitchen Lab” at the Institute of Culinary Education came into being. I can’t wait to fill their brains with chemistry and kitchen smarts and see where it takes them. Sign up and join us!

Kids Kitchen Lab @ICE (Sunday, March 12th; 10am-1pm)

Being a chef means being a food scientist! And the kitchen happens to be the most delicious science lab of all. Put the kids’ lab coats on and join Brooke Parkhurst for an afternoon of yummy experiments. Through fun and flavor, Brooke will guide your kids through a series of delicious dishes—and the scientific principles that go with each. We’ll cover: Fizzy Lemonade (basic chemical reactions); Margherita Pizza (microorganisms); Hot Chocolate & Whipped Cream (protein reactions); Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies (more reactions); and Fresh Fruit and Salad (the science of taste).