Making cooking fun and educational
By Susan Baldani
After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta, Lynlee Bradley wanted to do something that involved cooking, but was also interested in working with children. So, when she heard about Young Chef’s Academy, she knew she had found the perfect fit.
After working there for two years, she and her husband Austin opened their own location in 2015. Now in Midtown since 2017, where she was born and bred, she feels like her dream has come true.
“Our mission is to teach children the joy and value of cooking,” she says.
Every month there is a theme, and every week a different recipe. Each class is divided into age groups, with kids as young as 3 years old. Besides cooking, they learn cleaning, organization, food and prep safety, math, science and social skills.
Lynlee believes that introducing cooking skills at a young age also helps children develop a sense of healthy nutrition, and finds that they are more likely to eat something they make, even vegetables. Kids who would never eat spinach now love it.
“It’s really nice to be one of the reasons why these kids understand healthy eating,” she says.
And the children learn real cooking skills; it’s not just for fun. One of her former students, 12-year-old Quani Fields, was a runner up on Gordon Ramsay’s Master Chef Junior show on Fox. Another graduate, Tyron Sudler, now works at Barcelona Wine Bar as a chef.
The Academy also hosts school field trips, helps Girl and Boy Scouts earn their cooking badges, and have a cooking camp all summer long. Plus, they offer a Young Chef at Heart program for adults only.
Check out their website at https://atlantamidtownga.youngchefsacademy.com/ and Facebook and Instagram posts to see what’s coming up. They are always enrolling new students.
Written for Midtown Lifestyle in Atlanta, Georgia.