Schoolhouse Kitchen, a cooking school for families, opens at 4410 N. Milwaukee Ave.
by BRIAN NADIG
A new cooking school for families, including children as young as 2 years old, has opened at 4410 N. Milwaukee Ave. in the Portage-Jefferson Park area.
“As soon as they can hold a crayon, they can start working with little kitchen tools,” Schoolhouse Kitchen + Studio owner Cheryl Knecht said. Chopping cabbage is one of the first activities for the youngest students.
The school features cooking classes and camps for children and sessions for the entire family. “It really about teaching how families can work together in the kitchen,” Knecht said.
Enrollment for the classes and the overall response from the community has been overwhelming, Knecht said. “People are just so excited to have things for their kids to do in the neighborhood,” she said, adding that many of the school’s instructors live in the area.
The school offers camps for spring break and summer, and camp-goers will always have extras of their culinary creations to take home. “They really love to share with their families,” Knecht said.
The school is paying tribute to chef and author Edna Lewis in honor of Black History Month.
Lewis, who died in 1996 and was the granddaughter of an emancipated slave, was famous for her Southern cooking creations. Students will be making a buttermilk marble chocolate cake in her honor.
Knecht said that she got interested in cooking demonstrations about 7 years ago while she was organizing a new food co-op in Oak Park and that she then opened up her first cooking school in River Forest, which is still open today.
The Milwaukee Avenue location is Knecht’s second school, and she chose the location in part because it already had a kitchen. Its former tenant, Fearless Cooking, also held cooking demonstrations there.
“It was a beautiful space,” she said, adding that some modifications were made.
The school also is available for cooking parties for children and adults.
For more information, visit www.iloveschoolhouse.com