Andrew Usher has always had a passion for cooking, but after baking lessons with his grandmother and watching a popular show on television, the future chef has decided to take part in a local opportunity that puts the knife in his hand.
Usher fills one of the 95 slots that are currently part of cooking classes being offered at Ribeyes Steakhouse of Clinton. With six classes already on the schedule, Ribeyes owners Trey and Kristen Cummings are prepared to schedule more in the future due to the popularity of the current classes. According to the couple, two class are completely full, with openings on Oct. 1 and 22 and Nov. 12 and 26.
“We always try to do something new,” Trey said, as he sat in the restaurant Wednesday morning working on plans for the upcoming classes.
Kristen said their oldest son often helps in the kitchen preparing food, so she and Trey both knew the classes would be something other kids could not only learn from, but have fun while doing it.
“Cooking is a developmental tool for kids,” Trey shared. “We want them to keep coming back so that they can continue to learn something new.”
The one-time fee associated with the classes purchases a customized chef’s coat, complete with the young chef’s name. Participants can take as many classes as they would like and they only have to pay the fee one time.
Trey said the chefs will earn stars for completing tasks and taking classes. The more classes a young chef attends, the more stars they will acquire, showing their skill mastery level in cooking. Once a certain number of stars are earned, Trey said chefs can move up in age level.
“Accomplishing these classes can be a confidence builder for the kids,” Trey said. “The older kids will also be able to help teach the younger classes and learn leadership skills in the process.”
Parents will have the opportunity to take part in their young chef’s learning. Kristen said parents are being invited to dine during the classes, feasting on the foods prepared by the students.
Classes will be divided into three categories — ages 4-7, ages 8-12 and ages 13-plus.
“We have divided the kids for safety reasons,” Trey said. “Our younger kids will be doing more of the prep work and baking, while our older kids will be able to get into the kitchen and cook.”
Usher, who is the 12-year-old son of Michael and Jan Usher, loves watching Man vs. Child Chef Showdown and hopes to learn many of the cooking skills displayed on the show.
“He is looking forward to learning the basics and hopefully being able to learn how to just cook in general,” his mother said.
All items used will be made from scratch, including the dough, sauces and entrees.
To register for a class, both Trey and Kristen recommend coming by the restaurant so the child can be fitted for a chef’s coat when registering. Classes will be held from 2-5 p.m.
“Hopefully the kids who participate can take away more of an interest in the cooking profession,” Trey said.
The Cummings have plans to offer additional cooking classes in the future, as well as take a different path by offering the cooking classes as an option for birthday parties.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.