Rooks to Cooks

516 Mt. Pleasant Avenue Toronto, Ontario, M4S2M2 Locations: Vaughan, Whitby, Online (view map)

Ages:
6 to 16 (Coed )
Type:
Virtual Program, Day camp, After-school / weekend classes
Programs:
Specialty:
Cooking
Cost:
$160

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  Bonnie Laufer
  Phone Camp

About this Camp

Rooks to Cooks
 

Rooks to Cooks is the leading culinary school for children in the GTA! Kids learn to cook, but they also learn about nutrition, self-sufficiency, team-work, safety + more. Keep your kids busy, engaged & learning with fascinating virtual cooking programs. Experienced chefs guide them through recipes in the comfort of their kitchen while having fun interacting with peers online!


The Our Kids review of Rooks to Cooks

 

Lead by a professional chef in a professional kitchen, for kids with an interest in cooking Rooks to Cooks is a opportunity to be immersed in the techniques as well as the culture of cuisine. Camps stress the essentials, including navigating any kitchen safely and effectively, as well having fun, eating well, being creative, and working well with others. Sessions are nicely varied to drill down on specific skills and skill levels, from baking to international flavours, from tyro to master. Sessions are developed to appeal to growing palettes, nutritionally and culturally. As founder Chef Shai Mandel rightly notes, cooking is about much more than making good food. It requires a sense of materials, chemistry, organization, and managing complex steps and procedures. That perspective, and Shai’s ability to bring it to the fore is a strength of the Rooks to Cooks programs.


The 2021 Experience at Rooks to Cooks

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our in-person camps and classes. For the safety of our campers and staff, Rooks to Cooks made the decision to offer virtual instruction only. We have successfully pivoted to offer Virtual Cooking Classes, Camps and Workshops + more! Our virtual culinary academy was built to teach our students foundational culinary knowledge and skills in a fun, engaging and interactive way.

All programs are conducted LIVE on Zoom by our experienced and passionate chef instructors. Through step-by-step instruction, your chef-to-be will learn valuable life and cooking skills as they cook their way through 5-star menus inspired by the season. While learning and practicing new culinary skills, their chefs will also share industry knowledge and theory promoting a holistic learning environment.

Zoom links, consolidated shopping lists, recipes, equipment needs, and set up instructions will be sent 1 week before your course. All savoury recipes will yield 4 servings to help with family meal prep!

Whether your child is a beginner looking to get the basics down or a budding chef eager to expand their recipe repertoire, build on their current foundation of knowledge and take their skills to the next level, Rooks to Cooks has a program for them.

View recent COVID-19 updates from Rooks to Cooks

Programs and Sessions Calendar

Choose the right programs and sessions for your child; currently 12 programs available; 7 TBD.

Filter activities at this camp:

Name
Type/Gender
Specialty
Location
Date
Bus
Cost
Email
Virtual program
Coed
Ages: 6 - 18+
Cooking $300 to $350
Virtual Program,
Online
Jan 01-Dec 31$300 - $350
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Nutrition
Virtual program
Coed
Ages: 7 - 16
Cooking $170 to $190
Virtual Program,
Online
May 18-Jun 27$170 - $190
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Nutrition
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Nutrition
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Nutrition
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Nutrition
Virtual program
Coed
Ages: 7 - 16
Cooking $170
Virtual Program,
Online
May 22-Jun 27$170
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Nutrition
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Nutrition
Virtual program
Coed
Ages: 7 - 16
Cooking $45 to $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Jun 21-25 $45 - $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Jun 21-25 $45 - $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Jul 26-30 $45 - $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Jul 26-30 $45 - $200
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Nutrition
Virtual program
Coed
Ages: 7 - 16
Cooking $45 to $160
Virtual Program,
Online
Jun 28-Jul 02$45 - $160
Virtual Program,
Online
Jun 28-Jul 02$45 - $160
Virtual Program,
Online
Aug 03-06 $45 - $160
Virtual Program,
Online
Aug 03-06 $45 - $160
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Nutrition
Virtual program
Coed
Ages: 7 - 16
Cooking $45 to $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Jul 05-09 $45 - $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Jul 05-09 $45 - $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Aug 09-13 $45 - $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Aug 09-13 $45 - $200
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Nutrition
Virtual program
Coed
Ages: 7 - 16
Cooking $45 to $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Jul 12-16 $45 - $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Jul 12-16 $45 - $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Aug 23-27 $45 - $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Aug 23-27 $45 - $200
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Nutrition
Virtual program
Coed
Ages: 7 - 16
Cooking $45 to $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Jul 19-23 $45 - $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Jul 19-23 $45 - $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Aug 16-20 $45 - $200
Virtual Program,
Online
Aug 16-20 $45 - $200
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Nutrition
Virtual program
Coed
Ages: 7 - 16
Cooking
Virtual Program,
Online
Date TBDCost TBD
Baking/Decorating|Cooking
Virtual program
Coed
Ages: 7 - 16
Cooking
Virtual Program,
Online
Date TBDCost TBD
Baking/Decorating|Cooking
Baking/Decorating|Cooking
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Arts & Crafts
Virtual program
Coed
Ages: 7 - 16
Cooking
Virtual Program,
Online
Date TBDCost TBD
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Arts & Crafts
Virtual program
Coed
Ages: 7 - 16
Cooking
Virtual Program,
Online
Date TBDCost TBD
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Arts & Crafts
Virtual program
Coed
Ages: 7 - 16
Cooking
Virtual Program,
Online
Date TBDCost TBD
Baking/Decorating|Cooking|Arts & Crafts
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Camp Address
516 Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Toronto, Ontario
Other locations: Vaughan, Whitby, Online

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Rooks to Cooks
Rooks to Cooks
516 Mt. Pleasant Avenue Toronto, Ontario, M4S2M2
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Reviews & Testimonials


Love the virtual workshops
Susan C. — Parent

My 11 year old son loves the Rooks to Cooks virtual workshops! This is not your usual cooking class. Real chefs teach your child how to create impressive - and delicious - recipes that strike the right balance between challenging and fun. My son has made a chocolate Yule Log and Candy Canes (who knew we could actually make these at home!) as well as fancy Sugar Cookies with royal icing, and is so proud of himself. Of course some parental supervision is required in the kitchen but this makes for a wonderful, memorable experience together. If you’re looking for a virtual class to not only keep kids busy and entertained, but also teach a useful life skill, I can highly recommend Rooks to Cooks.


Top notch recipes
Ayala B. — Parent

My daughter has been doing Rooks to Cooks for a few years. She transitioned seamlessly to the virtual platform and was well supported and guided throughout. The recipes are top notch and we all enjoy everything she makes. Can’t wait for next session!


Amazing curriculum & techniques
Celine H. — Parent

I cannot stop raving about this program! Super patient, organized chefs take their time to teach kids to enjoy new foods and work in the kitchen. As a teacher I am amazed by their curriculum and the techniques that they use to keep the students engaged. And wonderful customer service from Chef Shai herself to make sure that the quality of the program is top notch at all time. We have participated in summer and Christmas programs and loved it. Wonderful way to spend time in the kitchen with my kids


Thoroughly Enjoyed our Classes
Deb M. — Parent

My son has taken several class at Rooks to Cooks, both in person and now virtually, both baking and cooking. He has thoroughly enjoyed all them. Since starting the classes he always wants to make dinner, and does a good job at it. I have enjoyed the virtual classes as well. Although I have been baking my entire life I have learned tips from Chef Shai. Speaking of Chef Shai, she is an amazing teacher. She is so patient with students, some of which are younger and less sure of what they are doing. She also has a unique and memorably way of explaining different techniques that are relatable to the children.


Wonderful experience
Sheva O. — Parent

Dear Chef Shai, I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful experience you and Chef Helen have given K. She is constantly telling me that she is fine, doesn’t need my help and is a real chef now. She is looking forward to continuing with her learning from Rooks to Cooks virtually this summer!


Best virtual cooking classes!
Jay & Bri D. — Parent

My daughter did her first class this week, virtually. We’ve tried three different companies for virtual cooking classes, and this one was by far the best! The instructors were extremely patient and explained everything clearly. It was very organized, funny, and a great time. The recipes were easy to follow and tasted delicious. We’ll definitely do more classes through them! ** Highly Recommend**



Upcoming Events

  • June 18, 2021Registration is OPEN for Virtual Summer Cooking Camps
    Online,
    Register by Friday, June 18 from

    Virtual summer cooking camps are back and better than ever! After a full year of experimenting with new virtual class structures, menus, and themes, we are proud to say we’ve perfected our curriculum and are beyond thrilled to release our most innovative and exciting programs to date! Register Now to secure your spot!

    • All camps are conducted LIVE on Zoom 
    • You can register by the DAY or by the WEEK to best fit your summer schedule
    • Camps are conveniently timed for Mornings (10:00am - 12:30pm) OR Afternoons (1:00pm - 3:30pm) 
    • Register for camps based on Age & Cooking skills: JUNIOR for ages 7-10; & SENIOR for ages 11-16
    • Only 14 campers per week with a 1:7 chef to camper ratio.


Director's Message

Shai Mandel, Founder and CEO

Hi there, my name is Chef Shai Mandel and I am pleased to introduce you to Rooks to Cooks!

Rooks to Cooks is the GTA’s leading culinary school for children, offering a vast array of services from our award winning summer culinary camps to our new virtual after school programs, workshops and virtual camps!

As a certified teacher and professional chef of 14 years, I know there is no better way to educate and inspire youth, in all areas of life, than cooking. Learning to cook is an integral life skill and I have had the privilege of witnessing, on a regular basis, the impact that teaching a child to cook can have on their lives. It builds independence, self-sufficiency, but most importantly builds self-confidence. When a child or teen is truly confident in themselves, they are not only prepared for what life can throw at them, but they are empowered and inspired to follow their dreams. 

Rooks to Cooks is not your typical youth cooking program. Our culinary school offers innovative, high quality, hands-on culinary programs unparalleled by others of similar nature. What sets our program apart is simple, we are experts in culinary education for children and take a holistic approach to culinary education. With a team of certified teachers, holistic nutritionists, mental health advocates and real chefs, our curriculum not only teaches youth how to cook and the why’s behind the practical skills, but in the process they learn a whole lot more! By participating in one of our awesome programs, your child will learn culinary skills, responsibility, independence, nutrition, problem solving, and apply math and science in the real world. Imagine the value of these life skills to your child - all while expanding their palates, getting creative and having fun!

In our inspiring, creative and educational classes, your child will have a fulfilling, exciting virtual experience with our top-notch professional instructors and like-minded peers online. We keep our class sizes small (1:8 chef to student ratio) and are constantly striving to provide exciting new recipes and new skills for our students to learn! Our focus is on offering the best quality culinary programs that provide significant life-long skills and value to our students and families. We invite you to join us and experience our outstanding classes!

Sincerely,

Chef Shai


About Chef Shai Mandel: Shai has a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree, as well as an Ontario Teaching Certificate and a Chef Training Certificate. Over the past 6 years, Shai and her team have had the privilege of teaching over 7,000 students how to cook through summer camps, after school programs, birthday parties, workshops and private lessons. www.rookstocooks.ca


Cost & Financial Aid

Cost: $160 /week

Payment Options:

Deposit required with acceptance Yes
Credit card payment Yes

Stories


Learn a lot and have fun too!

"A few days late but I just wanted to say how much my daughter enjoyed the Budding Bakers Sr. camp with you and your helpers. She learned a lot and had a ton of fun. She really enjoyed the pop-up restaurant challenge. We loved it too! Yummy! Thank you to you and your team for making the experience so much fun and so positive. Looking forward to more cooking adventures on the horizon :-)"

...



Picky Eaters No More!

"My kids absolutely loved Rooks To Cooks and chef Shai!

If your kids are picky eaters, you should definitely try this class - chef Shai will get them to try anything, and I mean anything! By the end of her class, my child, who would only eat pasta (no sauce), made his own sushi and ate it too!

The summer camp is also great, the pop-up restaurant at the end of the week is awesome. It's a full scale production and kids have a blast.

Definitely recommend it!"

...



From Rook to Cook

"My 6 year old daughter just completed a week at Rooks to Cooks and loved it! She developed a real interest in cooking and will definitely be returning next year. Chef Shai is amazing and I would highly recommend this camp!"

...



Inspiring

"My 10yr son just completed a week of Rooks to Cooks and had a fantastic time! He learned so much and really enjoyed every bit of it. This camp was well organized and I am so impressed with the meals they made. Chef Shai and her team did a great job inspiring the kids to want to learn more about cooking and help out with meals at home! I highly recommend this camp. :)"

...



Restaurant

"Great class, the restaurant at the end really helped complete the week and taught us all how a real restaurant operates. All the recipes are amazing. Thanks Chef Shai"

...



Pie Birthday Party

"Rooks for Cooks did a wonderful Pie Making Class for my daughter's birthday party. The girls loved it, as did my husband and I!! Chef Shai and her team are fun, engaging, organized and professional. I would definitely do it again!"

...



Pie Class

"I took a pie making class with Shai and she was incredible. I had cooked and baked my whole life but she taught me specific things about dough that I never knew. Not just for pies but for other baked goods as well. Now that I know, I always use her techniques. And everybody now loves my baking!!"

...



Slam-Dunking Doughnuts

"Shai is an AMAZING teacher! She's funny, welcoming and has an answer for every question. While teaching me to make some killer donuts she even taught me a bit of the chemistry involved, which I really enjoyed (and it's not easy to make chemistry interesting). Gotta give her a 5/5 :)"

...



From Prep to Plating

"In just a couple of hours, I learned so much about cooking. I never thought I'd be able to make better dumplings than the one's I'd get from my favourite restaurants. From prep to plating, you remained patient and thoughtful - you are very passionate about teaching people how to cook. I can't wait to learn more from you!"

...



Winning Way With Kids

"Chef Shai Mandel has a winning way with kids. She is warm, engaging, patient and funny. Above all, she is passionate about teaching kids and youth that eating well and preparing home-cooked food is a life skill. Her lessons are fuss-free, practical and kids love them. Shai knows that the earlier in life that you start learning how to cook simple meals, the better, and her approach builds a young person's independence and encourages their interest in how to eat fresh food well!"

...



Where fun meets practical knowledge

"Shai is an amazing teacher. She manages to be engaging and fun while imparting practical knowledge. Her recipes are wonderful and her food is delicious! My son did some in-home private lessons with Shai. He learned a lot and enjoyed his experience tremendously." 

...



Two Amazing Experiences with Chef Shai.

"I've had two amazing experiences with chef Shai. First was a pie baking class last summer where we made the best apple pie I've ever tasted. Then Chef Shai taught a group of 8 friends how to prepare various fish dishes with amazing sides and dessert. We all had a blast and got to learn from the most wonderful teacher. I would highly recommend Shai to young and not so young wannabe cooks. Her style and expertise are superb."

...



Learning to Cook with Rooks to Cooks was so much fun!

"Learning to cook with Rooks to Cooks was so much fun! Shai is patient, kind, professional and incredibly knowledgeable. She made advanced skills manageable and in two hours I created what felt like a gourmet meal. Learning to cook myself has always been uninspiring. With Shai's knowledge, I feel I will have the tools to cook more on my own. The cost of lessons will pay in health and reduced take out! Thanks Shai."

...



My Kids Can't Stop Raving About Shai!!

"My kids can't stop raving about Shai!!!

We've had two in-home classes now and I have nothing but good things to say. My sons, 6 and 8, love their classes. The classes are fun but they are also actually learning cooking techniques and knife skills. My younger son is a ridiculously picky eater but after just two classes with Shai he's become more willing to try new foods.

Shai is engaging and lots of fun and as a trained teacher, she can maintain order and hold kids attention. I highly recommend Rooks to Cooks."

...



Thanks for the Macarons and tips

"Shai taught me how to make Macarons, and even how to do swirly patterns and stuff on them. You were so thoughtful and attentive in the lesson! Thanks Shai!!!"

...



Thanks Chef Shai

"Thanks to Chef Shai for a wonderfull, delicious and informative sushi cooking class for my daughter's 17th birthday. Her friends and I learned how to make professional grade sushi, tempura, sauces and how to dice and slice like professional chefs. I have highly recommended our experience to other friends and will absolutely do another class very soon."

...



Thank you!

"Thanks for the amazing sushi class, Shai! My friends and I had a blast and the sushi was amazing!"

...



In the News

March 23, 2020 - Rooks to Cooks NEW Online Cooking Videos for kids

Join Rooks to Cooks WEEKDAYS starting Mon. March 23 at 11AM for their New ONLINE Cooking Videos for Kids on YouTube. ...


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Contact Name
Bonnie Laufer

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