The Little Nell is poised to share its warm hospitality and delicious food with the next generation of Aspen cooks this summer by partnering with chef, cookbook author, and Aspen resident Helen DeFrance to teach kids, ages 4 years and older, basic cooking skills.
“Comfy in the Kitchen,” a series of four cooking classes for kids “will feature lessons on how to create both savory and sweet items,” says DeFrance, who will help guide kids on the importance of balanced meals as she also trains them how to properly use cooking tools and stir up a new dish in each class. “It’s all about being comfortable in the kitchen. Kids will learn to follow recipes, measure, mix and chop, and they will bring home fun and delicious recipes the whole family will love.”
DeFrance is no stranger to the kitchen or in helping children find their way around it. She has been teaching children’s cooking classes for 10 years and discovering and encouraging mini chefs in the making, including creating and running the “Kitchen Full of Kids” program at the acclaimed Blackberry Farm in Tennessee. She is also the author of two cookbooks At Home Café: Gatherings for Family and Friends and At Home Café: Great Food and Fun for Everyone.
Helen credits her dynamic, hands-on approach to cooking with kids in part to her education background, where her emphasis was on Montessori training, a method of teaching based on hands-on, experiential learning. Helen understands the importance of engaging children in the learning process and brings this concept into the kitchen. Her cooking classes not only involve children in every aspect of planning the family meal, but also teach them the source of the ingredients and the steps it takes to make a successful meal.
Throughout the series, DeFrance will be joined by special guests from The Little Nell kitchen, including Pastry Chef Danielle Riesz and Executive Chef Robert McCormick.
Comfy in the Kitchen cooking classes will be held at The Little Nell from 3:30-5 p.m. on May 24, June 19, July 11, and August 21. Each class will feature a different theme.
Cost is $30 per class, or the entire series can be purchased in advance for $100. Space is limited and is open to all. To reserve a spot, call PJ Johnson at 970-920-6360.