The beginning of something special

Carrie and I started talking about offering cooking classes for kids on August 14, 2017. A friend posted in a local Facebook discussion forum looking for classes near home and we started planning. We thought it would take a few weeks to get things set up. This is hilarious now, but we thought it would be pretty simple. Quickly we found out that home insurance policies don’t think teaching a bunch of kids to cook in your house is cool. Next we found a great place to hold cooking classes, but it came with a LONG to-do list before we could schedule our first class. 1400 Food Lab runs a tight ship, which is good news for everyone!

In September we took a food safety class and exam in which we earned the ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification, accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-Conference for Food Protection (CFP). We learned things about food safety and food-borne illnesses that made me never want to eat again. We’ll just pass on the useful parts for safe food handling and cooking practices to our students and not the horrible parts.

As we worked on getting registered with the State of Ohio, IRS and getting necessary business stuff set up like bank accounts and insurance policies, we also agonized over the name of the business. We had so many great ideas that were already names of businesses, some even in Columbus. Carrie had a late night idea that we both loved, and Food For Thought Kitchen started to feel real. We have so many ideas about cooking skills, dishes and types of cuisine we’d like to share with people, and one of our priorities is to include additional education elements, especially for classes with kids. Maybe they’ll just remember cracking eggs and eating yummy foods, but if they take away even a little bit of knowledge about science, culture, language, history, table manners or anything else, we’ll be thrilled.

We practiced recipes and teaching strategies with our children. Sometimes we practiced just making a meal or a cake at home for a special event, and sometimes all together, working together on business planning and class development at the same time. We ran a cooking birthday party with personal pizzas and cupcakes for Carrie’s daughter, that somehow also included a glitter activity which I recall every time I put on the shoes I wore that night.

Our first class was February 12, 2018. We baked sugar cookies, worked on cracking eggs, decorating cookies, and dipped strawberries in chocolate. The smiles on the students’ faces and their excitement to come again made us so happy. The second class on February 25 was even better. We baked Pavlova, separated eggs, whipped cream and learned a little science. We talked about how gases are important in making meringue and whipped cream, learned about protein and fat, and demonstrated acid/base reactions for fun and to macerate berries. The kids were so focused and strong trying to whip cream by hand, and they came to appreciate the stand mixer’s whisk attachment just as we do.

We don’t know exactly where this journey will take us, but we hope you’ll come cook with us, because we’re having a great time figuring it out!

Tasting Pavlovas. Baked meringue, fresh whipped cream, macerated berry topping.

–posted by Olivia 2/28/21018

Meet Carrie and Olivia

Carrie Klug is the creative genius. She can turn a cake into a masterpiece and has fourteen ideas at once when you ask her what she can do with a few ingredients. She learned to cook as a child from her Grandmother, baking homemade bread, learning secret family recipes, and forming her identity in a family that cooked together. Carrie’s experience working in restaurants has given her a wide range of knowledge about many cuisines. Name your top 5 favorite fine dining restaurants in Columbus–chances are Carrie has worked at at least a few of them! Since 2007 Carrie has operated her own catering service and provided baked goods to order for the community. Carrie’s daughter is in 3rd grade and loves to bake with her mom. Carrie’s hope is to share her love and knowledge of cooking with children who will use it their whole lives.

Olivia Hickey is the organizer and child development specialist. She learned to cook while living in Italy, and has spent most of her career teaching Psychology to nursing students. She loves teaching, kids and cooking. Her goal is to design developmentally appropriate and challenging courses that blend fun and learning about cooking skills, health, science, math, art, language and culture. Olivia likes gardening and growing food, in the early summer she can be seen standing in her front yard waiting for the cherries to ripen. Olivia’s sons are in Kindergarten and 3rd grade, and are hoping for cooking classes on Pizza and Clam Bakes.

Olivia and Carrie test recipes and teaching strategies with their own children–sometimes the children take over and make pancakes.