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Little Kitchen Academy in Plainfield teaching kids of all ages cooking, creativity, and confidence

Little Kitchen Academy in Plainfield teaching kids skills beyond cooking
Little Kitchen Academy in Plainfield teaching kids skills beyond cooking 02:26

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Spring rolls one day, apple snickerdoodle cookies the next. That's what kids in southwest suburban Plainfield have been cooking up this week.

A new cooking school for kids opened this summer, and Little Kitchen Academy will soon be expanding to other locations in the Chicago area.

The kitchen can inspire confidence and creativity; the kind of ingenuity that leads 4-year-old Alaric Kottman to find a practical new use for a mixing bowl.

"Lots of bowls on heads, colanders on heads; a lot of our objects turn into things you would never imagine them to be," lead instructor Shai Terry said. 

Little Kitchen Academy is a Montessori-inspired cooking school for kids ages 3 to 18.

"They take home math skills, science skills, social skills. They grow in their confidence and their independence, and these are skills that will last them a lifetime," said director Maranda Johnson.

Each class introduces a new recipe, with new ingredients. The kids are the cooks and the critics.

"These are my little sous chefs," Terry said. "Their parents come in saying, 'Oh, they're so picky! They don't eat!' But I'm like, 'They ate an onion, a piece of garlic, salt and pepper.' They come in here, and they just go crazy with the food."

A three-hour class doesn't aim to produce a kitchen of professional cooks; just confident, creative kids.

"The younger they start it, the better it is," Terry said.

Little Kitchen Academy is set to come to Lincoln Park before the end of this year. Plans also have been in the works for a new location in Naperville.

Registration for single or multiple classes in Plainfield is now open.

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