Headed by local chef Sophie Budd, the Little Budds classes use storytelling to inspire young chefs, while the Budding Chefs courses for older children and teens revolve around exotic-location themes.
Frasers & Bluewater Grill
Kids can learn from MasterChef contestant Rachel McSweeney at the themed classes at Kings Park’s iconic eatery, Frasers. For a more informal set-up, Bluewater runs courses every month for ages 6-12.
What’s 2 Eat?
Focusing on healthy eating, the term-time kindy classes are for ages 3-5, while the school-age program covers pre-primary to Year 10. The aim is to help with good eating choices, and kids can select ingredients from the on-site vegie patch.
CURTIS STONE'S SPICED CARAMELISED APPLES
Celebrity chef Curtis Stone recommends this recipe for kids – it’s ideal served on fluffy wholemeal pancakes. Serves 6
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup water
2 medium Jazz apples, peeled, cored, and each cut into 12 wedges
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Small pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
40g unsalted butter
In a medium heavy frying pan, stir the brown sugar and ¼ cup water over high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer until the syrup has reduced by about one-quarter, or for about two minutes. Add the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, tossing to coat them in the caramel. Cook until the apples have softened, but are not mushy, and have a sheen from the caramel, for about eight minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and butter. Spoon the apple mixture over pancakes and serve immediately.
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?
If your children are developing little green thumbs or an interest in where their food comes from, get them along to one of Perth’s community gardens or pick-your-own orchards. While the winter season offers a limited selection of orchards, there are lots of great gardens to visit with budding horticulturalists. Environment House in Bayswater runs excellent Little Gardeners classes (from September onwards with both casual and ongoing programs) where kids can learn, play and eat. For other ideas check out the Perth City Farm in East Perth (a working production farm with some farm tours open to school-aged kids) or Earthwise Community Western Australia, which runs kids tours in Subiaco on Fridays (on demand).
CHEF SAYS: GET THEM STARTED EARLY
Head chef of Lalla Rookh Bar & Eating House, Joel Valvasori-Pereza, fondly recalls his first memory in the kitchen. “My first real connection with cooking that I can recall was watching my Nonna make crostoli, a sugar-coated, fried Venetian pastry,” he says. In turn, he is eager to share his passion for the culinary arts with his own children. “My favourite moment cooking with my daughter, Poppy, would have to be when we first made pasta together. She was only two years old at the time, but her ability to learn the techniques so quickly just blew me away.” His tip for getting young ones interested in cooking is to try to surround them with good food and teach them about food origins. “Challenge their taste buds early with very small amounts, and talk to them about food and where it comes from or how it’s produced.”
Joel also advises something to sweeten the deal for them. “Making things like pasta, cakes and biscuits are the most rewarding for kids. After all, what kids don’t like to eat all of those things?”
TOP KID-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS
We all know dining with the little ones can be trying. These restaurants know how
to keep the kids well fed and entertained for hours.
Jamie’s Italian | Kids’ menus on old-school View-Masters (remember them?) show that someone is really thinking about the little ones here. Combine that with a creative selection (such as Chicken Lollipops) and you’ve got a winner! 140 William Street, Perth
Little Creatures | An outdoor sandpit (with a few truck toys) means afternoon drinks at this brewery are quite pleasant, and the kids’ nachos make for a fun treat – but beware: as the sign says, “Unattended children will be given an espresso and a kitten”! 40 Mews Road, Fremantle
Missy Moos | Both the north and south locations are very child-friendly, with chalkboards and astro-turfed areas. Order an Eeny Meeny Miny Moe mini burger – with good-quality meat, Margaret River tomato relish and aioli – to educate the kids’ taste buds about how a burger should be. 148 Scarborough Beach Road, Mt Hawthorn, and 400 South Terrace, South Fremantle
Gooseberries Cafe | Don’t be put off by the grungy-looking graffiti font that labels this cafe – it’s worth being brave for. A separate kids’ playroom, decked out with IKEA tunnels and tents, makes it easy to enjoy the consistently good coffee here, and kids love the single-serve pancake option. 78 Banksia Terrace, Kensington
Hoopla Espresso | A favourite for parent groups, Hoopla has a kids’ corner (with a small toy box and a low table for little diners), as well as Moresby Street Reserve across the road, home to a semi-enclosed playground that is perfect for takeaway cuppas. 8 Moresby Street, Kensington
Click here to view our comprehensive guide to all the family friendly restaurants in WA.