from The New York Times

Where Little Chefs Learn the Art of Slicing and Dicing

Ángel Franco/The New York Times

Emily Rios, director of the Creative Cooks Culinary Center in Brooklyn, demonstrating how to make pastelitos. “Being prepared is half the battle in terms of keeping their attention,” she said. More Photos >

Published: August 18, 2009

By the time lunch was over, flour coated all the workstations at the culinary school in Brooklyn. Shards of dough stuck to the surfaces. And a dozen or more flat yellow blobs festooned the floor — each indicating the spot where a chickpea had rolled off the table and been squished by the foot of a cook in training.

Whether any of the students learning how to debone a chicken or slice cheese for a Spanish pastry will ever oversee the kitchen of one of New York’s culinary temples is impossible to tell.

After all, the students are between 5 and 11 years old.

For the last nine weeks, more than 100 children have been slicing, measuring and baking at Creative Cooks, a children’s cooking school in Boerum Hill that treats the culinary arts as an anthropological adventure.

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