I’m not the best person in the kitchen, but I find good recipes that are easy to follow and I make them. And one thing that I’ve noticed is that my kids love to join me – helping to measure, mix, and pour the ingredients and shape the baked goods when we have them. It is a nice way for our family to do an activity together that doesn’t involve screen time and that lets me introduce math (addition, fractions), science (why does bread rise), and social studies (where does this dish come from) to our day. And when I saw that Publix had parent/child cooking classes, I was all in.
Publix offers a variety of classes, from date nights and demonstrations, to holiday classes and cookie decorating. The parent/child classes are held all year long and feature fun themes such as flavor exploration, let’s make crumble and spooky treats. We’ve taken classes before at different places and each time they are a little different and each has its own strengths.
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Publix Big Chef/Little Chef Cooking Classes
Unlike some other cooking classes, in the Publix class, the whole group cooks together. What this means is that you don’t get to do everything, and depending on the size of the group, you may not do half of the cooking. In the baking class in particular, the kids did almost all of the work. There was more interaction between the adults, which was nice, but if you are going to work on your own dish, you won’t get that here. This also means that the food is communal (with an exception that I’ll get to). There were leftovers that we brought home but you are not going to get your own plate of things that you made.
Each class has at least two chefs who are excellent teachers – they knew how to explain things so that the kids could get what they were doing, and they also let the kids try to do a lot of different things. My five-year old learned how to make whipped cream shapes. The chefs will also explain what each ingredient is and how to use it in general, not just in the dishes that you’re making.
The chefs bring a certain flair to the classes, with their own styles and senses of humor. They make it easier to learn, and they are excellent at teaching new techniques. And because they work in a professional kitchen, you will get to see a little of what the back of house looks like at a restaurant.
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Dealing with Food Allergies at Publix Cooking Classes
They are very accommodating with regards to food allergies.. In our case, my daughter has a dairy allergy so everything she made had to be without butter or cream. They had the substitutes and were able to make recommendations for things we could use instead at home. In some cases, that meant that the entire dish would be dairy-free (without any impact on the flavor). In others, they would separate a small portion for her to finish with dairy-free ingredients. Either way, she was able to fully participate and create the same dishes as everyone else.
Go or No Go
The Publix classes are a little different than what I expected – for kids classes, both parents do not need to sign up (and I would probably recommend that only one parent go). However, my children had a great time and we came away both learning a lot and with a few new ingredients for our own home. If your kids have an interest in baking or cooking, this is definitely an activity to try.