Little Kitchen Academy was born from a wish to provide an environment where children can learn to feel empowered to try healthy foods on their own, based on the Montessori Method of teaching. The goal was to create a space which not only enabled children to feel motivated to discover new food, but also highlight the ingredient’s origins.
A clean, modern yet warm pallet was chosen to showcase the journey from the communal table to the chef’s area where classes are held. It is at this table where the students will learn about where their ingredients have come from and what they will be cooking in the class. A Maple dowelled wall with storage for chef’s coats and footwear is the next step before entering the kitchen to begin class.
To instil a visual boundary allowing the children to feel empowered and independent when they entered the kitchen, ‘Chef’s Only’ has been stencilled onto the floor at the demise of the working area, surrounded by reeded glass screens allowing the children to become aware of when they are crossing into the learning zone. Stainless steel workbenches (with concealed steps for the younger students) create the central work island. On the perimeter counters, each chef’s station has been equipped with a sink to allow for each student to learn by cleaning and sorting at the end of their lesson, instilling life lessons to fall back on for years to come.
A focal point of the space is the living wall which is central to the learning process of ingredient origin. Student’s are encouraged to harvest the growing plants to be used in their recipes, understanding the process behind cultivation in a broader sense.
At the conclusion of the lesson, the group sits down at the communal table to review the lesson and enjoy the fruits of their labour, ready to take their learnings into life.