written by Emily Buckley, editor in chief
For over a decade, Cache Valley elementary school teacher and self-proclaimed lover of food, Suzie Marciss, has partnered with restauranteur Justin Hamilton, owner of Café Sabor, Off-Premise Catering, and Bluebird Candy Company, to offer kids cooking classes that encourage healthy eating and lifestyles.
The program, called K.I.T.C.H.E.N. (Kids In Total Control of their Healthy Exercise and Nutrition) Whiz Kids, offers two-hour cooking classes several times a year where kids get the opportunity to get hands on in the kitchen, preparing full, well-balanced meals using fresh foods.
“We start with the basics, and talk about handwashing and cleanliness,” Suzie said. “Then we get hands on and let the kids practice kitchen skills like cutting, dicing, mixing, and following recipes — we try to include as many skills as we can.”
Suzie says the goal of the class is help kids get away from processed food, and learn how to eat and enjoy healthy food. “The kids like trying new things,” Suzie said. “They like doing things themselves, creating, and ending with a whole meal that they can then go home and share with their families. It gives them confidence to be successful in the kitchen and beyond.”
Suzie, who has been teaching 4th grade at Lincoln Elementary in Hyrum for the last 32 years (and preschool for three years before that), will retire this summer. She has been planning a kid’s cookbook for years, also called Kitchen Whiz Kids, and hopes to put that into fruition after her retirement. “I don’t have formal culinary training,” Suzie said. “But I love kids and I love food, which is why I love to cook and what has made this so fun for so long.”
The classes take place at the Logan Golf and Country Club and include 20 to 30 kids each session. The next class will be held on April 27 and be Cinco de Mayo themed. The registration fee is $20 and includes a full meal. Call 435-753-6020 to reserve a spot.