I love everything about food; from preparing a home cooked meal, to how the smell and taste can rouse you into a state of contentment. I appreciate how sharing a meal can bring friends and family together, there really isn’t anything better. While I sound slightly Nigella, the passion I have for food is something I’m really keen to share with my children. I want them to enjoy the process of creating something from scratch and not resort to convenient meals. So when I discovered The Cheeky Kitchen, a South West London’s cookery school especially for kids I couldn’t wait to give it a try.
Cheeky Kitchen, is run by Early Years Teacher Irene. Irene uses her teaching skills and gourmet experience to put together an impressive lesson for all her Cheeky Kitchen pupils. I was excited to discover that her culinary journey extends as far as Beijing and the Philippines. I wonder if Irene would teach me? The classes are aimed at 2.5 years – 4 years old and each class is made up of several parts, to give meaning & understanding behind the food and to ultimately make cooking fun.
It was a sunny Friday morning and we arrived at The Cheeky Kitchen in Tooting. When we walked in we were greeted by Irene, who led us to the Parent & Baby room. This was where Olivia and I planned to hang out whilst Finley had his lesson. The room had tea and coffee facilities, a huge box filled with toys and a lesson plan. We shared the room with other parents and carers, which felt like a nice opportunity to meet some local Mums and new baby friends for Olivia.
Curious to see where Finley was planning to spend the next 45 minutes, I ventured into the Cheeky Kitchen. As I walked in, I could see a colourful array of ingredients, a collection of story books all related to food and a little work station for the children. There was a homely feel which made me feel instantly relaxed. I knew this would be the ideal place for Finley to thrive.
The lesson began with the children washing their hands, followed with putting on their aprons. All the children were seated and Irene introduced the lesson with a short video about the theme. The theme was St Patrick’s Day where they were planned to make Colcannon Mash. Yum.
Irene showed the children the ingredients and together they began to prepare the food. Potatoes were peeled and mashed. There was lots of giggling behind the kitchen door so I peeped in and could see the children mashing and singing away. It was a sweet sight. Each of the children added the milk and then began chopping the onions and shredding the cabbage.
Once the Mash was made, the children played some food themed games such as Feed the Gorilla, Counting Bananas and Adding Worms to the Apples. A story was read to them and they put the finishing touches to the mash before putting the colcannon in their takeaway boxes for the journey home. As the children were leaving, they were asking for spoons, so they could have their mash on the way home.
When the class was over, Finley was full of enthusiasm and happily talked about his time at the Cheeky Kitchen on the journey home.
Since the class Finley has been keen to help out more in the kitchen, getting a new found confidence with food and is even willing to try new flavours. I have been really impressed by how Finley is more engaged with food and would recommend the school to everyone.
If you wish find out more about The Cheeky Kitchen or book a class, click HERE