Category Archives: Junior Chefs Academy

They Just Keep Coming…

CCKC Cooking ClassesOur merry little cooking class elves are busy at work adding classes to our schedule for late December through February. There are weekend date-night offerings, daytime weekday classes, and even kids’ classes before they head back to school after the holiday break. Take a look at the following new additions to the calendar…

More Info: JCA: Mexican New Year's Eve FiestaJunior Chefs Academy (ages 9-14)
Mexican New Year’s Eve Fiesta

Wed, Dec 27,  2:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Instructor: Ariel Johnston
Hands On  |  Tastings

Junior chefs will travel south-of-the-border for an authentic New Year’s Eve Fiesta!  Experienced cooking instructor, Ariel Johnston, will show how to prepare awesome Mexican dishes to ring in the New Year! You’ll throw on an apron and get lots of hands-on cooking time as you and learn culinary techniques like mixing, measuring, knife skills, cookie decorating techniques.  You’ll also get lots of practice time for your newfound skills as you help prepare tasty Mexican recipes like Homemade Guacamole, savory Empanadas de Pollo (that’s fancy Mexican talk for seasoned chicken in a pastry pocket!),  and Cilantro Lime Rice. We’ll end by whipping up a batch of warm Sugar Cookies.

More Info: A Sensational Surf & Turf MenuFlavorful Weekend Nights:
The Splendid Table…
A Sensational Surf & Turf Menu

Fri, Dec 29,  6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Instructor: Molly Flynn
Limited Hands On  |  Dinner
Enjoy working alongside Chef Molly and your fellow classmates as you learn how easy it is to prepare an elegant surf & turn dinner at home using trending ingredients from land and sea.  This will surely become one of your favorite go-to menus for entertaining.

More Info: JCA: Chinese New Year CelebrationJunior Chefs Academy (ages 9-14) – Adult/Child Option
Cook Global, Eat Local.
A Tasty Chinese New Year Celebration

Fri, Jan 2,  1:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Katie Newell
Hands On  |  Tastings

The Chinese New Year isn’t until February this year, but why not start the celebration early and learn to make the traditional foods of this popular Asian holiday so you can make them for your family and friends on the actual day.

More Info: Li'l Kids: Let's Make Cinnamon RollsLi’l Kids in the Kitchen (ages 5-8)
Let’s Make Cinnamon Rolls
Wed, Jan 3,  1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Instructor: Laura Thomsen
Hands On  |  Tasting & Take-Home, Ready-to-Bake Cinnamon Rolls

Get those aprons on and grab your li’l chef (ages 5-8)! We’re up to our ears in cinnamon and sugar and flour and butter as we turn into pastry chef teams! Today, we’re going to learn to make cinnamon rolls from scratch — TOGETHER! All four hands will be mixing, kneading, shaping and sprinkling as we learn real baking tricks and techniques alongside culinary instructor, Laura Thomsen.

More Info: At The Chef's Table... A Special Wine DinnerFlavorful Weekend Nights:
At The Chef’s Table…
A Special Wine Dinner featuring Chef Molly Flynn

Fri, Jan 5,  6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Instructor: Molly Flynn
Limited Hands On  |  Dinner & Wine Flights

Enjoy an evening of masterful culinary instruction, great food and wine. Chef Molly is a seasoned chef who knows how to put that special touch to a meal, plus she has a teaching style that’s fun and easy to understand.  Get ready to be amazed as you watch Chef Molly show off her mad cooking skills while she teaches you to prepare a gourmet dinner that you’ll want to recreate over and over again in your own kitchen.

More Info: The Art of Smokology: Smoking 101Midwest BBQ Institute:
The ‘Art of Smokology’ – Smoking 101
Sun, Jan 21,  10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Instructor: Richard McPeake
Demonstration  |  Tasting

Richard McPeake (a/k/a Educator of “Que”) shares his extensive experience in this very special, power-packed 4-hour class. Whether you think you’re pretty good or you don’t know a thing, this class is GUARANTEED to take you to a new level. Chef will cover all the basics of backyard smoking so you’ll learn the secrets to perfect BBQ: use of a smoker and how they work; various fuels; types of wood; matching wood with foods; product identification; meat selection; trimming ribs, pork and briskets; time and temperature; proper techniques of smoking; developing “smoke ring” and “bark,” how and when to apply a rub; when, why and how to use a mop; making a dry rub; the four “flavor” stages; sauce testing; proper pork shredding techniques; what to look for in BBQ from start to finish; and discussions of BBQ regions. And you’ll learn, step-by-step, some incredible recipes!

More Info: Learn To Cook Like $%@# Gordon RamsayLearn to Cook Like $%@# Gordon Ramsay
with Chefs Tosha Gutheridge & Stephane Laporte

Sun, Jan 21,  5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Instructor: Tosha Gutheridge & Stephane Laporte
Limited Hands On  |  Dinner

Chefs Tosha Gutheridge & Stephane Laporte are “bringin’ it” for the first time with us here at the CCKC as they share their deep culinary experience in the kitchens of the uber popular Chef Gordon Ramsay’s Vegas restaurants. In this up-close-&-personal-style limited enrollment class, you get what you have always dreamed of…lessons in cooking like rock star Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay … except we’ll put the “ixnay” on the profanity! (C’mon, we’re a class act here at The Culinary Center!)

More Info: Mastering Knife SkillsMastering Knife Skills
Thu, Feb 1,  10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Instructor: Molly Flynn
Hands-On | Snacks
Chef Molly will teach you how to masterfully perfect knife skills fundamentals such as basic cuts, mincing, brunoise, batonnet, julienne, and more. Plus, several advance techniques, to boot.  She’ll also include a discussion on how to choose the knife that is right for you, how to sharpen and store them the proper way, and so much more.

More Info: Julia & Me: Classic French DishesFlavorful Weekend Nights:
Julia & Me: Classic French Dishes

Sat, Feb 10,  6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Instructor: Molly Flynn
Limited Hands On  |  Dinner

Bring one of your favorite aprons if you like, a sense of humor and your best “Julia voice” and let’s learn how to cook some classic French recipes straight from the works of Julia Child. We’ll create awesome French beauties like Coq Au Vin and Trout a la Meuniere.  And don’t worry, Chef Molly will include a lovely French dessert, as well.

More Info: Vegan for EverybodyVegan For Everybody
Mon, Feb 26,  6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Instructor: Molly Flynn
Limited Hands On  |  Tastings

You might just be pleasantly surprised to discover the variety of rich and tasty dishes you will be able to savor using grains, legumes, nuts, oh yes, and veggies.  See, it isn’t just about veggies!  Chef Molly will teach culinary skills as she walks you through some incredibly delicious plant-based recipes.



From Junior Chef to Pastry Chef

During this summer season of graduations, we had the opportunity to catch up with one of our former Junior Chefs Academy™ (JCA) students, Kinsey.  The first class she attended at The Culinary Center of Kansas City (CCKC) for our age 9-14 JCA students was cake decorating, and she loved it!  Later she tried an Asian cooking class, but quickly realized her passion was pastry.

When asked what else fueled her desire to bake, Kinsey credited her grandmother, who is well known for creating THE best Banana Nut Bread.  Like many of us, Kinsey started out as a “helper” in the kitchen, learning best practices like making everything from scratch (of course). 

Kinsey’s classes at CCKC and time in her grandmother’s kitchen both sweetened her enthusiasm to pursue an education in the culinary arts, so she accelerated her course work in high school at Shawnee Mission West and graduated early at the age of 16.  After a trip to explore the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area, she knew without a doubt that The Culinary Institute of Virginia was where she wanted to be.  Kinsey packed up the essentials with determination and drove 20 hours away from home.

With her degree in Baking & Pastry and a zest for cakes, Kinsey is now working at a local HyVee Bakery, gaining experience and dreaming of opening her own cake shop one day soon.  Kinsey enjoys both collaborating on team efforts and finding her ‘Zen place’ while immersed in a solo project, such as decorating a cake.  She thrives on the creative aspect of designing cakes, and is excited to start designing wedding cakes. 

Kinsey offers this advice to culinary arts students, “No matter how tough it may seem, stick with it.  It is so worth it!”

Thanks for checking in, Kinsey, and congratulations on your success!
In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the places you will go!”

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Made Your Labor Day Weekend Plans Yet?

If you haven’t made your plans for Labor Day Weekend yet, but are looking to do a little something fun, we have some terrific ideas for you at The Culinary Center of Kansas City!

Flavorful Weekend Nights> We have seats still available for our Friday night cooking class on Sept. 2 – Foods of Sicily.  AND it’s on a Last-Minute Deal right now… even better. Register today and save 15%!

biking & cooking class> Try out our newest concept in cooking classes on Saturday morning – A Wheel-y Cool Cooking Class! It’s for the bike-lovin’ foodies out there.  We’ll start with a pre-ride breakfast/coffee at 8 a.m., then hit the road for a 20-mile ride, returning to The Culinary Center for a cooking demonstration including recovery food after the workout. Guess what?! That one is on a Last-Minute Deal also! Sign up & reserve your spot now.

Folk Music Jam> On Saturday from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., we’ll hold our monthly Kitchen Sessions Folk Music Jam in our Santa Fe Kitchen. It’s FREE and it’s fun for all – whether you come by to listen or to join in making music.  Come on in. There’ll be a cash bar, if you’re thirsty. And local artisan snacks available in our Kitchen Shop. No reservations needed for the folk jam!

French Cooking Class> Enjoy date night on Saturday night and be virtually whisked away to France with our Romantic Dinner in Lyon – one in our series of L’Approche Francais classes (The French Approach to Cooking & Celebrations!)  Master Chef Richard McFarlane Clark will instruct the class on ingredient choices, as well as cooking methods and techniques used in Lyon, the food capital of the Rhone-Alpes region of France. The evening includes dinner and coursed wine tastings selected by Chef.

What’s Your Teen Doing Over Spring Break?

Give us 2 days and your teen (ages 13-19) will be nuts for healthy cooking! Our JCA Healthy Cooking Spring Break Boot Camp for Teens will help steer your teen away from fast food to much healthier food options.

Fruits & VegsCulinary Instructor Rachel Ciordas, an expert in healthy cooking, will teach them how to prepare delicious and healthy foods, using grown-up techniques and a heaping dose of fun. This Hands-On class that will also cover essential measuring, mixing, peeling and cutting skills as they work alongside Rachel in this two-day “cook-a-thon”.  They’ll discover their “inner health nut” as they learn about taking the fat and calories down by preparing awesome snacks like Smoky Guacamole with Homemade Tortilla Chips, scrumptious salads (like her California Chopped Salad with homemade healthy creamy herbed ranch dressing), Soups (such as “Swiss Tomato soup with Parmesan Crisps), and a home-cooked entrée of Roasted Chicken with 3-Herb Chimichurri Sauce – just like Mom makes!  And, what teen doesn’t like Pizza?!  Rachel will teach a simple but impressive Pizza and Quattro Staggione (4 Seasons) Pizza – a traditional Italian pizza made with homemade whole grain pizza dough with fresh seasonal toppings.  They’ll finish each day on a sweet note as they create a Delicate French lemon yogurt cake with blueberry sauce, and more!

They’ll walk away from this course with tons of confidence in their new ability to “do this thing!”, and will be well on their way to a whole new way of healthy cooking!  It’s that simple. Step aside, Mom….your teen is going to make dinner tonight!  Classes include all recipes with complete nutritional information; graduation certificate and a great big sense of pride for a job well done!)  Don’t wait to sign up for this one – class size is limited.

2-Day Healthy Cooking
Spring Break Boot Camp for Teens
Monday 3/14 and Wednesday 3/16

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
includes Tastings & Lunch Both Days) – HO

Couples’ Classes & Kids’ Classes Added

Our cooking classes are popular, and especially the couples’ and kids’ classes fill up like crazy.  By popular demand, our Dean of Deliciousness has added more…

Check out these new class options by clicking on the class title for more information or to register:


Our Dean of Delish Is On A Roll!

Brothers & Sisters… our classes are filling like mad … so our Dean of Deliciousness is working like mad to design and add great new classes for you to experience.  Check out these new class options by clicking on the class title for more information or to register:

  • The Napa TableSunday, Jan. 29  | 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
    Flavorful Weekend Nights
    The Napa Table
    Chef Jim Tinkham

    Dinner & California wine  |  HO
  • JCA: Ace of CupcakesSunday, Feb. 21   |  10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Junior Chefs Academy  (ages 9-14)
    ‘Ace of Cupcakes’ Competition
    Shannon Hartnett

    Includes tastings, and some take-home cupcakes  |  HO
  • The Thai KitchenThursday, Mar. 3   |  6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
    The Thai Kitchen
    Chef Sandy DiGiovanni

    Includes tastings  |  LHO
  • Sunday, Mar. 20   |  10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    JuJCA: Game of Thronesnior Chefs Academy  (ages 9-14)
    Game of Cakes!
    Shannon Hartnett

    Snacks provided  |  HO


A New Summer Class for Our Junior Chefs (9-14 yrs)!

Take a look at the new 4-day summer Cooking Camp we have added! 

Click here to register for the new June 22-25 4-Day Cooking Camp!

It’s been great having all these young culinarians ‘in da house’  this summer at our summer cooking classes.  We offer classes for Junior Chefs Academy (ages 9-14), Li’l Kids In the Kitchen (ages 5-8) and Tiny Tots In The Kitchen (ages 2-4).  The energy these young chefs bring is awesome.  They must be enjoying themselves because the classes fill in a heartbeat!  In fact, the summer cooking camps we held last week were such a success and we had such long waiting lists on them that we have added another camp this month. 

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