Little Feet in the Kitchen cooks up big dishes

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My daughter has never been much of a foodie, sticking with items found only on a kid’s menu, so when I heard about Jennifer Evans Gardner’s Little Feet In The Kitchen summer cooking camp, I was skeptical. The concept of this cooking school is,  “if they cook it, they’ll at least taste it,” thus helping to develop their palates.  I signed her up.


Little Feet in the Kitchen cooks prepare Salt Crusted Striped Bass with Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

When we got to the camp, which is taught al fresco at the home of Evans Gardner (who is also cookbook author and food writer), my daughter was given both a chef’s apron and hat with her name embroidered on them. We perused the menu to see what the kids would be making that day — no nuggets or mac n’ cheese here. Instead the menu included Chicken en Papillote, Chilaquiles and Pavlova.  Obviously, Ms. Evans Gardner does not believe in “kid food.”  I couldn’t wait to see how this turned out.

The Iron Chef team with their Pumpkin ravioli.

The Iron Chef team with their Pumpkin ravioli.

When I picked my daughter up several hours later, I got to sample the amazing food and heard with great enthusiasm how her team had won the “Iron Chef” contest in class.  By the end of the week she had learned some cooking science and history, and some actual cooking skills. More surprisingly, she had enjoyed some of the food, as well, such as the Chicken en Papillote and Tarte Flambé!  If your kids happen to be foodies, this camp is definitely for them; but even if they’re not, it’s a great beginning to get them to move past the kid’s menu and onto more adventurous cuisine.

Little Feet in the Kitchen goes to Bokado (owner Frank in the background)/

Little Feet in the Kitchen takes a trip to Bokado in Studio City (owner Frank Leon is standing in the back center).

Jennifer Evans Gardner, long a home cook and entertainer, has been teaching kids’ summer cooking camps, cooking classes and private parties for children ages 5-12 for over five years.  In addition to cooking at her home, she also takes the kids on selected foodie field trips. Past excursions have included Bokado, Porto’s Bakery, Artisan Cheese Gallery, Big Sugar Bake Shop, California Pizza Kitchen and Mexicali.

Cooking and dining al fresco.

Cooking and dining al fresco.

Camp space is tight, as it is limited to just 10 kids per session (as of this writing, there are only a few spaces left this summer, in the week of August 17).  Summer cooking camp hours are Mon-Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and lunch, snacks, field trips and adorable monogrammed aprons and chef hats are all included.  For more information, call Jennifer at (310) 467-2560 or check out photos and menus at:

Joanne Kimes is the author of the bestselling “Sucks” series as well as “The Stay-at-Home Martyr.” She writes Parenting Sucks!  for MY DAILY FIND. Visit her at

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • Jackie Houchin

    What a great story on a wonderful idea. Summer cooking camp for kids – fantastic. I’m fortunate that my daughter-in-law is well on the way to training my granddaughters to be good cooks, but even for them, this would be a fun thing to do. Hope you advertise EARLY for next year’s camps!

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