Compass Cooking Classes
Step into Compass’s new teaching kitchen for a variety of cooking and baking classes each week for students ages 6 and up.
Compass cooking classes get kids excited about helping in the kitchen, working with new ingredients, and learning practical, hands-on life skills. Kids enjoying cooperating, cooking, and eating with friends. Compass chefs are encouraged to try new foods and unfamiliar ingredients because they have handled, prepared, and seen what goes into them. They learn how to slice, dice, zest, squeeze, blend, blanch, mince, mix, braise, broil…and more! Cooking students discover how to work with fresh herbs, add and multiply fractional kitchen measures, read ingredient panels, and make substitutions in recipes. Many sources such as CBS News, the New York Times, WebMD, Live Strong Foundation, and others have written about the positive, life-long benefits of teaching kids to cook. Following are some answers to commonly asked questions about Compass’s cooking classes:
Frequently Asked Questions:
- My daughter is 5 years old, but very mature for her age. Can I just put her in the Cooking for Little Kids class?No, age 6 is the minimum age for children to enroll in Cooking for Little Kids. Please let the Compass know if you are interested in a 5-year-old cooking class. If we get enough interest, Compass could consider offer its 5-year-old program, Kinder Kitchen, in a future quarter.
- My child is in 3rd grade. Should I registered her for the 1st-3rd grade class or the 3rd-5th grade class?If your child has not taken a Compass cooking class before, consider the 1st-3rd grade class the first time to make sure your child has the needed hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills needed for food prep.
- My student is in 8th grade. Should I registered him for the 6th-8th grade class or the 8th-12th grade class?If your teen has not taken a Compass cooking class before, consider the 6th-8th grade class the first time to make sure your child has the needed hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills needed for food prep.
- My child loves to cook. Would he learn different things if he took both Cooking for Kids and Confection Kitchen, or took the class for several quarters?Definitely! The menus are different from one class to another and are new from one quarter to the next. Different preparations are used with different menus, so kids will learn different skills even when they are taking concurrent or consecutive classes.
- My 8th grader has a lot of experience cooking at home. Can I enroll her in the Monday Culinary Foundations using Compass's 'place one year ahead rule'?No, students must be in 9th grade and age 14 in order to enroll in Culinary Foundations. Younger students may not enroll because of the small class size and because it is run as a for-credit high school program.
- My child has ADD/ADHD/ASD/executive functioning differences. Is it OK for her to taking a cooking class?Maybe. There have been some neuro-atypical children who have been successful in Compass cooking classes. However, Compass’s policiies explain that classes are not designed for students with learning differences and IEPs. Students in cooking classes must be able to listen, follow instructions, perform sequential tasks, adhere to all safety protocols, perform age-level fine motor skills, and work with others in a team. Students who talk and interrupt regularly, are unable to follow directions on class safety/hygiene rules, or who cannot work succesfully in a station (i.e. no wandering or roaming around), should not enroll in these classes.
- The cooking class we wanted is full. Can you just add one more student to the class?No, maximum class enrollments are carefully planned so all students can participate and contribute to the weekly cooking project and so the instructor can safely monitor all students’ techniques.
- I can't cook. I wish you offered cooking classes for parents.Agreed. Watch for weekend and evening cooking workshops for teens and adults to be added in the fall.
Food Allergies/Special Diets
- My child has a food allergy to nuts. Will nuts be used in recipes?Yes, peanuts and tree nuts may be used in recipes. Recipes are posted online and note if nuts are included. All completed dishes sent home will have a label warning of nuts. Those with very sensitive nut allergies should understand that nut-containing ingredients may be in the cabinet or may have ben used in a prior class. Also, commercially prepared ingredients may come from factories or machinery that also process nuts.
- My child has a sensitivity to dairy, gluten, egg, etc. How will I know if these will be used in recipes?Many recipes will use these ingredients, but generally not all weeks or all recipes. Sometimes a child with a sensitivity to a specific ingredient will participate in class to learn the cooking techniques in that lesson. Other times, they may elect to skip a class. A child with a severe contact or breathing allergy to a common ingredient should not enroll in the class. Due to costs, logistics, and sourcing, the cooking instructor is unable to provide substitute ingredients or use any sent in by a parent. Prior to registration, you should contact Compass to discuss any ingredient concerns.
- My child doesn't eat broccoli/asparagus/green beans, etc., etc., etc., but I see them in a recipe. Should we still take the class?Yes! Cooking classes are a great way to encourage kids to try new foods. Often, when they have prepped and cooked something new, they are willing to try it, especially in a supportive group of classmates.
- Can my vegetarian/vegan child take cooking classes?For students who are vegetarian, meat can be omitted from some class recipes. However, chicken or beef broth may be used. Students who are vegan should probably look for an alternative class, as milk, cheese, butter, and eggs will also regularly be used in addition to meats.
- Can my child take cooking classes? We try to eat organic/paleo/locally-sourced/non-GMO/avoid additives, etc.All food supplies will be conventional, mass market ingredients. Specialty food preparations/certifications will generally not be included due to cost and sourcing logistics.
- We maintain a Halal (or Kosher) diet. Can I just send some of our own chicken in for this week's recipe?The Compass cooking instructor cannot accept special ingredients sent from home. For those following a halal/kosher diet, pork will not be used in regular cooking classes. Turkey bacon is typically substututed for pork bacon. Artificial vanilla can be used instead of alcohol-based vanilla, and vegetable broth will be substituted for cooking wine in classes where students have this need. Gelatin may be a component in some foods, particularly in dessert or confection classes that use Jello or marshmallows.
- My child is very active and loves to climb/dance/jump, etc. Is this a problem in cooking classes?
Possibly. The cooking instructor has many rules regarding safety in the kitchen when burners, the oven, and knives are in use and hot pots and pans are being moved about the kitchen. Students must be able to follow kitchen rules for safe behavior. Students who dance, twirl, jump, kick, climb on the chairs, or wander around the kitchen will be dismissed from the cooking class for the remainder of the hour. Any student who has been dismissed three times will be unenrolled from cooking for the remainder of the quarter.
- My child has never used a knife. Is it really safe to use a knife in a Compass cooking class?Yes! Students in all levels of cooking classes will be taught proper and safe knife handling skills. All knife use will be under the direct supervision of the cooking instructor.
- My son's nose is only runny because he has allergies, so I am going to bring him to cooking class.The health policies for cooking class are more stringent than for other Compass classes. For hygiene reasons, students with a runny nose at the onset of an illness, after exposure to someone who has been ill, or near the end of an illness should not come to class until it has ceased. If a student has a runny nose because of a known, diagnosed seasonal allergy, he may come to cooking class if he wears a surgical mask to prevent contamination of food items.
- My daughter isn't sick anymore. She just has a lingering cough.The health policies for cooking class are more stringent than for other Compass classes. For hygiene reasons, students with a cough at the onset of an illness, after exposure to someone who has been ill, or lingering at the end of an illness should not come to class until the cough has stopped. If a student has a cough because of a known, diagnosed seasonal allergy, she may come to cooking class if she wears a surgical mask to prevent contamination of food items.
- My son has Nature Quest right before cooking class, then we will go to cooking. (Or, we are coming from the playground, horseback riding, etc.)If your child has come from an outdoor activity or has dirty clothes, please bring a change of clothes before coming to cooking class. For hygiene reasons, we do not want mulch or mud-covered clothing in the kitchen.
- My child likes to wear his/her hair down long.In cooking class, long hair must be pulled back in a ponytail, braid, or bun to ensure hair does not get in food!
- My child wears sandals/crocs/flip-flops in the warm weather.In cooking class, students must wear closed-toed shoes for safety because they are using knives.
- Do we need to send anything to cooking classes? What about aprons and containers?Compass will furnish disposable plastic aprons and disposable take-out type food containers for bringing home a portion of the week’s recipe rather than having students bring containers/aprons from home. If students would like to eat their sample after cooking class, they should bring utensils from home. Utensils are not provided by Compass for cooking students taking a few bites of their recipe after class.
- Will our family be able to taste-test any of the dishes that our child prepares in class?Some weeks, students will bring samples home for their family to try.
- Where can I get the recipe for the dish our child made in class this week?Each week, the recipes prepared in all Compass cooking classes will be posted in an online portal that families can view when logged into their Compass family profiles. Only those students are registered for a cooking class will have access to view recipes on the portal.
- Accordion trigger
The Compass cooking instructor selects fresh ingredients for each week’s recipes. She reserves the right to substitute ingredients based on availability, quality, or price if the original ingredient, such as strawberries, do not meet her quality expectations.