My kids love to help in the kitchen, and with one picky eater, it has helped in opening him up to try new and healthy foods. So when we were invited to attend a class with Sticky Fingers Cooking, a new mobile cooking school for kids launching in the Chicagoland area, I knew I wanted to learn more.
Sticky Fingers started in Denver, Colorado back in 2007, and has recently expanded to the Chicago area. What makes them unique is that they are a mobile cooking school, and can offer classes, birthday parties, and events anywhere (as long as there’s a sink!) Their self-styled Food Geek in Chief, Erin Fletter, is herself a mother of three, with an extensive background in the food and wine industry and a passion for getting kids to not just eat, but crave healthy, creative food.
This passion extends to the entire staff, including Lucy Warenski, the Lead Chef of the Chicago area and also a native! Aside from a love of cooking, Lucy is a certified Montessori teacher. Her background in education is a great asset, as Sticky Fingers classes incorporate educational skills like math, language, geography, and history. In the sample class my son took, I overheard them cover math when making measurements as well as counting together in Spanish.
We’ve enjoyed other cooking classes in the area, but none have allowed him to be as hands-on as Sticky Fingers. In the sample class, he was allowed to cut, chop, measure, and even crack eggs – all the grown-up stuff that’s he’s seldom allowed to do at home. Don’t be scared, the teachers are very attentive and I appreciated the talk about knife safety beforehand, as well as the fact that the knives used were heavy plastic and not stainless steel. The knives still cut effectively, but it’s an added safety measure that put my mind at ease. In our class, children didn’t use any heating devices, but in a class with older children, they may have that opportunity with supervision.
During our class the kids made homemade butter, fruit salad, and Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancake Recipe (click link for recipe.) Recipes can be tailored to the audience and vary in complexity. The target age range is children in K- 5th grade, but they can tailor the experience to children as young as 2 and as old as 13. I was really impressed by the sophistication and international scope of some of the recipes including Ethiopian Injera Bread and Stuffed Corn Arepas. Kids are more likely to try something new if they make it themselves, so I think it’s a great way to broaden their palette. If you’re a foodie like me, consider it an investment in yourself. It will pay off when the kids ask to try a new ethic restaurant instead of the local greasy spoon for chicken nuggets and fries.
If you’re a troop leader, day care provider, or other organization and are interested in offering classes or after school programs at your location email info[at]stickyfingerscooking[dot]com for more information or just visit their website. There is no cost to the location as parents pay all class fees. Sticky Fingers Cooking is also a great option for a unique birthday party at home!
Connect with Sticky Fingers Cooking on:
Disclosure: I attended a complimentary cooking class and media event to provide information for this post. No other compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are my own.