A new culinary arts school for children has opened in Covington, Young Chefs Academy of Covington (YCA), despite the difficulties of opening a hands-on learning environment during a pandemic.
The small business is part of a nationwide franchise and the first of its kind in the area. YCA offers weekly classes and membership opportunities for kids and teens ages 4 and up.
According to a press release from the new school, The Young Chefs Academy team is prioritizing the health and well-being of students and staff by diligently following guidelines from the CDC and local government, plus extra standards outlined in the “YCA Cares” document.
The academy is adhering to all social distancing orders as they pertain to children’s activities, including limited-capacity classes and events, and following strict health and sanitation measures required by the CDC.
In addition, YCA of Covington is screening children and staff for illness and checking temperatures before they enter the building. Staff will wear masks/face shields and gloves and guide each child in proper hand washing before classes. Each child will have individual ingredients, utensils, hand sanitizer bottles and tissue boxes at their station.
Deb O’Brien, Covington owner and instructor, has worked in the local food service industry and as an educator for many years. Until recently, she owned a small catering and cupcake business. She also homeschooled her three girls through high school. Young Chefs Academy combines her two passions: teaching children and the culinary arts.
“There’s a need for culinary arts classes in our area, and we’re seeking to meet that need,” O’Brien stated in the release. “Young Chefs Academy takes the unknown out of cooking for our kids.”
Young Chefs Academy offers field trips for schools, pre-schools, childcare centers, and homeschool groups, as well as birthday parties, seasonal workshops and boy/girl scout badges. According to the release, small-group summer camps start soon too. Adults can also participate in a future Young Chefs @Heart workshops coming soon.
“We are excited for Young Chefs Academy because it will be more than a cooking school,” O’Brien stated. “It will be a community.”
YCA opened June 23, more information available here.