I have to admit, as much as I love the idea of cooking with my kids, I also hesitate at the idea of flour coating my kitchen floors and admit that I don’t always have the patience or skills needed to teach them the culinary basics. So, when I heard that Froglegs Culinary Academy was opening a second location in University Village, I knew it was time for a visit.
Froglegs offers a fun, safe and educational experience where kids can get a hands-on approach to cooking that we as parents don’t always have the time or patience for. Established in 2007, Froglegs also has a location in Kirkland, and always strives to bring “a dollop of fun and a sprinkle of delight” to classes and camps.
Laura Vida, aka Mrs. Froglegs, worked in the high-end food business at places like Williams Sonoma and Starbucks before opening Froglegs, and her expertise shines through in every aspect of the business — from the beautifully designed kitchen for classes, to the Treat Mercantile where you can purchase all manner of party supplies, gifts, decor and cute cooking items.
The Treat Mercantile is also stocked with Mrs. Froglegs’ famous sweets — most famous among them, the edible cookie dough in flavors like chocolate chip, Oreo, M&M and birthday cake. My personal favorites are her freshly baked cookies — my kids and I are partial to the s’more, and carnival (think the pink and white frosted cookies with sprinkles from your childhood) varieties, and regularly indulge by stopping at the walkup window when we are at U Village running errands.
But of course, there is more to Froglegs than the cookies. The classes feed your mind and your tummy while bringing everyday ingredients to life. Semester classes are after-school cooking classes that follow the school year and offer the same classes for a variety of different ages, but there are also weekend classes — one-day offerings where kids can learn unique skills and sometimes even meet culinary specialists.
Depending on the age of your child, class topics range from doughnuts ($65), pies ($100) and macarons ($75), to knife skills ($70) and pasta making ($80). The older the child, the more cooking focus there is, and most classes run about two hours. Teens and tweens can try classes like French Bistro ($75), where they’ll prepare chicken Provencal, petite potato gratin stacks, and even traditional creme brulee. The Din Tai Fung class ($75) where kids learn to make pork dumplings and noodles with sesame sauce sounds amazing, too.
In addition to gaining a positive attitude toward food, kids learn to slice, stir, wash, pour, blend, measure, chop and mix. Instructors have cute names like Cherry and Sprinkle, and the recipes are simple, straightforward and delicious.
On a recent visit with my toddler and another 6-year old, we made strawberry shortcake and both kids loved it. There were kid-safe plastic knives for cutting the strawberries, which made them feel special and important, and they loved smushing and smashing the dough for the biscuits. Along the way, we also learned the proper way to crack an egg, and how to properly stir and mix the dough. The instructor was engaging, patient and even had fun sound effects for the different steps — a fact that delighted the kids.
Whatever kind of class you choose, we can guarantee that the topics and approach are fun, creative and engaging. Not to mention, your kids will leave with new skills and knowledge in all things edible. To top it all off, you don’t have to clean up the mess.
Froglegs Culinary Academy
2634 Village Lane, University Village, Seattle
501 Market St., Kirkland