We tell you how to foster your little chef's interest in the culinary arts.



Children's cooking classes are popping up all over the country from upscale restaurants to local recreation centers. But before you sign up your child, ask about the level of difficulty (the best classes group kids by age), the amount of supervision (you want at least one adult for every six kids under age 8), and the degree of participation (some classes merely allow the kids to watch).

If you're in the area, check out the hot cooking classes below; for a listing of businesses that offer kids' classes nationwide, go to:

Equinox Restaurant, Washington, DC: In this boutique restaurant located a block from the White House, chef Todd Gray and his wife Ellen host healthy family cooking classes at least one Saturday per month. Adults and children, ages 3 and up, are taught separately-though the parents can check on the kids anytime they want. Recent children's' creations included almond butter and omelets. To register, call 202-331-8118 or log onto:

The New School, New York City: Look for holiday-themed classes for kids, such as "Moms and Kids Cook Together on Mother's Day." All classes are held in the state-of-the-art kitchen in this charming bed and breakfast. For more information, call (212) 255-4141 or go to:

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Les Petites Gourmettes children's cooking school, Scottsdale, AZ: Chef Linda Hopkins, who regularly works with Emeril Lagasse, Jacques P?pin, and Martin Yan, teaches 1- and 4-session classes ranging from baking to French cooking for children ages 6 to 17 during spring break and summer vacation. For more information, call (480) 991-7648.

Cooking School of the Rockies, Boulder, CO: This professional cooking school dishes out a wide variety of classes for kids, teens, and families. Upcoming courses: Cooking with the Family on April 20 (it features homemade pizza, fun tossed salad, and brownies) and Mother's Day for Kids on May 4 and 5 (children ages 8 to 12 learn how to make mom breakfast). To register, call (303) 494-7988 or log onto:

The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, WV: From June to September, 6- to 12-year-olds guests at this posh 6,500-acre resort can take part in four cooking classes held in a professional kitchen. Themes include South of the Border (with fruit salsa and tortilla rollups) and I'll Make Supper (with corn-crusted chicken fingers and best-ever broccoli). Don't worry: There are plenty of cooking classes for adults too. For reservations, call (800) 453-4858 or go to:

New England Culinary Institute, Montpelier, VT: A major training ground for professional chefs, this school hosts many cooking classes and week-long culinary camps for kids during the summer. A favorite: The Eat Your Words series, a hands-on class where kids cook the food featured in a popular children's book. To register, call (802) 223-6324 or log onto: