Guide to Kids Summer Cooking Camps & Classes in Connecticut

April Guilbault

Is May about the newly arriving crocuses (crocii?)? Or about the greening of our lawns after the longest winter ever? Nah. Let’s get down to business-it’s about finding camps for your kiddos before the summer hits and all of those spots are filled! The emails have begun flying and the scramble is beginning. What’s new? What’s fun? How about forgoing the traditional Camp Gitchigoomee canoes and bonfires and, instead, fan the flames of summer creativity in some area kitchens with cooking camps for kids! 

Here is a list of 8 Kids Cooking Classes & Summer Camps for 2014:

Aux Delices

Who isn’t a fan of Debra Ponzek’s Aux Delices? With four different stores in the Fairfield County area, Aux Delice delights so many of us with specialty (and convenient!) meals and creative, gorgeous desserts. What could be better than giving our kids a taste of how to do this? Each 5-day class tackles a different culinary subject each day...bakery items one day, beachy foods the next, farmhouse favorites thrown in for a good dose of comfort food. Your chefs will walk away with an arsenal of handy skills and menu ideas. Classes run from 3:30-6pm and the minimum age is 8. Cost is $295 per week session or $65 per class.

Cucina Casalinga 

Even if a family trip to Italy isn’t on the docket this summer, the next best thing might be treating your kiddos’ tastebuds to the flavors of this magnificent country. Nestled in the Tuscan, sorry....the winding roads of Wilton, there is a skilled and lovely teacher who will guide your children on a culinary adventure through the country that she loves. Sally Maraventano of Cucina Casalinga, with the aid of her state-of-the-art-yet-homey kitchen and kickin’ outdoor stone pizza oven (what kid wouldn’t love to cook with that?), creates exciting menus to give kids a hands-on lesson in Italian specialties. Lunch will be included and classes are limited to 10 children, aged 10-14. Details coming soon on her website about this summer’s theme for this camp, which runs 10:30-1pm, Monday August 18-August 22th (no Thursday class). Price is $400.

AMG Catering  

When it comes to writing that “What I Did This Summer” recap, your kids will be able to say that they went “Around the World in 4 Days”. Ok, maybe creative writing is in their futures OR maybe a job in the vast culinary field will be after this adventure.  At AMG Catering in Wilton, traveling the world is the theme for the summer cooking sessions that will introduce your “Chefs in Training” (CITs for those in-the-know) to the cuisines of France, Italy, Greece and Asia. These hands-on, four-day classes will have the CITs working in a professional kitchen and learning cooking skills that will last them a lifetime. Huh, travel *and* education in one fell swoop-not bad for a summer. Junior chefs (ages 11-15) can choose between two sessions and please note that these are not allergy-free kitchens. Everything and anything (nuts, shellfish, dairy) is cooked here! Cost is $435 per 4-day camp and lunch is served each day.

Cindy’s Sous Chefs

Cindy Hartog is a woman who wears many hats and amazingly, manages to wear them all at the same time. Part actress, part teacher and part chef, she enjoys entertaining and teaching people (specifically younger ones) the joys of cooking! This summer, Cindy will be teaming with her daughter Danielle, a graduate of the esteemed CIA, to offer cooking camps. Classes run from June to late July and you can choose the amount of cooking you would like your sous chef to do...1 week to 5 weeks and everything in between. All classes meet from 9:30-12:30 and include a lovely lunch. Each week will center on a different theme, ranging from International cooking, to baking to “crafty” cooking (think crepes and candy sushi) to teen cooking and teen field trips. For either the beginners or those kids out there who believe that the culinary field is their calling, these camps will set the scene for some great learning and fun. Unless specified, the camps are for all ages. Cost ranges from $600 for one week to $2500 for all 5. For more information, email Cindy at or call 203-221-1177

The Kiddie Kitchen

Under the guidance of Chef Neena Perez, kids can get a taste for preparing meals, understanding good nutrition and even teamwork. Held at New Canaan’s Outback Teen Center (71 Main St.), these 4-day, 1 week sessions take your chefs (ages Grade 4 to high school) on a tour through the world of cooking-from planning the meals, making the meals, to being safe in the kitchen. Breakfast and Brunch specialities, as well as Italian, Asian, Mexican and Greek foods will be on your kids’ menu after attending these informative and fun sessions! Camps run from the end of June to late August and cost $300 per week session.

Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm

In Litchfield County, The Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm houses not only a gallery and a museum (great places for kids to explore) but also offers a wide variety of cooking classes for the younger members of your family. Silo was the first recreational cooking school in Connecticut, attracting such culinary notables as Jaques Pepin, Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray. “Silo Kids and Teens” programs teach basic cooking skills along with creating farm-healthy meals-each day will focus on breakfast, lunch or dinner menus. The Lil’ Sprouts (ages 5-10) or Tweens (11-16)  will walk away with some great culinary experiences and an appreciation of farm cooking. Single classes, 3-day classes and week-long ($50-$250) are available.

Sur La Table

In addition to selling all manner of cookware, bakeware, food stuffs, and kitchen-y decor, Sur La Table in Canton, CT also offers a good variety of cooking classes for adults and kids alike. Talk about one stop...eating. This summer, your petit Iron Chefs can learn about “Baking around the World” and “Science in the Kitchen” and have a great time doing it. Knife skills, reading recipes, mixing/measuring and kitchen safety are all on deck! Classes are geared towards kids age 8-12 and teens and are generally 2-2.5 hours per class.  The 5-day sessions run during the months of June, July and August. Cost is $250 for 5 days.

Kids Culinary Academy of Vermont

For those kids out there who would like the experience of sleep-away camp but for whom lanyards and canoeing is not the most appealing idea, how about sleep away cooking camp?! Located in northern Vermont, this camp has extensive facilities including a baking and pastry arts bake shop, an integrated greenhouse and aquaponics facility, a berry and culinary herb gardens, a shiitake mushroom growing facility, beekeeping teaching area and full commercial kitchens with wok stations, a pizza oven and prep saute stations. All attendees also received their own professional knives kit, a chef uniform and cake decoration kit and a diploma. 1-4 week sessions are available, as well as their new Baking and Pastry Arts concentration, where kids will learn about making everything from truffles to wedding cakes and croissants. Visit their website for registration and tuition information.