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Kiddin' around in the kitchen

PERU - There's something cooking in the kitchen - well, at least there soon will be, and kids are going to be behind it.

Kiddin' Around the Kitchen, a series of cooking classes for children, will be held at the Peru Community Church Fellowship Center beginning this Wednesday, March 3. The four-week session will be led by retired chef Helen Bisaillon and Lana Knight.

The classes, though offered at the church's fellowship center, will be nondenominational and open to all children in grades 3-5, said Knight.

"We were trying to think of something kids would enjoy doing," said Knight.

Bisaillon, who worked as a chef in the food service industry for several years and attended the Culinary Institute of America, said she is excited to bring her cooking expertise to children. Knight and Bisaillon said they have a basic outline of what they want to offer the children, including making banana bread, chicken pot pies and other kitchen creations.

"We're not going to take frankfurters and wrap them in crescent rolls. That's not really a quality meal and it's not really cooking," said Knight.

However, the menu isn't set in stone, said Bisaillon, adding she will base the curriculum on the interests of the young students.

"We're going to ask them what they want to cook," said Bisaillon. "They're the ones that want to learn. If they want to learn regular meals or desserts or even appetizers - we could do that."

"They should be able to make what they want, because if you don't let them do that, they're not going to like cooking," she added.

The plan is for the children to be able to make something to either eat or take home after each session, with a meal to be offered the final night of classes.

"We want them to be able to make everything and hopefully be able to go home and make that particular recipe at home," said Knight.

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