Food & Wine

Kids-cooking-classes spring from River Cottage Australia at Eastwood’s Bermagui

Lisa Herbert 7 October 2019
Inspire your kids to cook and learn about food provenance. Photo: Kelly Eastwood

Inspire your kids to cook and learn about food provenance. Photo: Kelly Eastwood

Kelly Eastwood is a busy woman. Most of the time she’s to be found in her Bermagui kitchen – Eastwood’s, not only cooking breakfast and lunch for customers, but prepping catering jobs, turning out her famous doughnuts, and now teaching our youngsters the joy of cooking.

Kelly’s been running hands-on cooking classes for kids for around a year, and the momentum is building. So far she’s had youngsters excited about sushi and dumplings, gnocchi and sauces, and this week there are cracking classes happening for the holidays – pie making and pizza.

Teach your kids how to make pastry, so you don't have to! Photo: Kelly Eastwood

Teach your kids how to make pastry, so you don’t have to! Photo: Kelly Eastwood

‘Pies from Scratch’ takes in both sweet and savoury fillings and yes, actually making pastry from scratch!

Many adults would struggle to make pastry from a bag of flour, some fat and eggs, but as much in life, being shown by an expert demystifies many things, and it turns out pastry is not rocket science. Though it is indeed a science.

Handing over the job of making pastry to your kids has got to be a parenting goal, am I right?

The second class this week is ‘Pizza Making’. Once again Kelly is taking kids on a journey from ‘dough to woah’, imparting the secret to perfect pizza dough, tasty sauces, an extravaganza of toppings. Oh, and of course, the art of eating pizza!

Kelly's young students make Gnocchi and sauces from scratch. Photo: Kelly Eastwood

Kelly’s young students make Gnocchi and sauces from scratch. Photo: Kelly Eastwood

It’s a great way to inspire kids to get in the kitchen and take an interest in food.

Kelly tells me that this week’s young chefs will also get to pick their own produce from Bermagui’s new community garden. That is certainly teaching them “where their food comes from.”

These ‘mini-master-chef’ style classes have been very popular, and usually fill up quick, “many of the kids come back again too,” Kelly says.

Parents tell her their kids “often cook at home, practicing and proudly showing off what they’ve learned in the classes.”

Kelly says the kids get quite inspired, often taking photos of what they’re cooking at home and sending them to her.

“We recently did a class on dumplings, and I had all these kids sending me photos of dumplings they were making at home” she laughs, obviously proud and impressed.

The class size is limited to eight, so it’s very hands-on and the kids get plenty of attention and guidance.

Things are blooming in Bunga Street outside Eastwood's. Photo: Lisa Herbert

Things are blooming in Bunga Street outside Eastwood’s. Photo: Lisa Herbert

I asked Kelly if she thought she was creating a new generation of chefs? “Well maybe! Some of them are really keen,” she says

The classes for kids get Kelly pretty excited too, as do her cooking classes for adults.

As a chef who has cooked on super yachts and in kitchens all around the world,  Kelly’s interest in teaching cookery was piqued when she set-up and ran the ‘River Cottage Australia Cooking School’ during her time as TV Food Producer for Australia’s River Cottage TV series.

After the River Cottage series, which was filmed in nearby Tilba, wound up, Kelly put down roots in Bermagui and opened Eastwood’s Deli and Cooking School.

She also began catering for events, running stalls at markets, and has created a range of beautiful take-home meals, which have been a hit over winter for residents at Lake Crackenback Resort in the Snowy Mountains.

Teach them young, watch them grow. Photo: Kelly Eastwood

Teach them young, watch them grow. Photo: Kelly Eastwood

Canberrans will soon be able to enjoy Eastwood’s meals at the beloved Epic Market, Kelly tells me”we’re on the home straight now and will be selling at Epic very soon!”

The kids cooking classes run from 10 am to 1 pm. Students are enjoying the delicious meal they’ve prepared themselves by around 12.30 pm.

You can drop the kids off to Eastwood’s and head to the beach for a few hours, or enjoy watching them at work over delicious ONA Coffee and a meal or something sweet, like one of Kelly’s artisan donuts.

And in the spirit of co-operation, Kelly tells me that her lovely next-door neighbours of, Studio 26, are running art classes for kids over the holidays too.

Eastwood’s is at 26 Bunga Street, Bermagui, look for the community garden on the nature-strip.

Kelly’s Mini-Masterchef Cooking Classes:

  • Wednesday, October 9, 10 am to 1pm –  ‘Pie Making From Scratch’
  • Thursday, October 10, 10 am to 1 pm – ‘Pizza Making from Scratch’

Cost is $69 per child, ages 8 to 15 years, and if you book a sibling or friend you receive $10 off.

Check the Eastwood’s website for more info and future classes.

And for more information about the kids art holiday program visit Studio 26 HERE.

Thank you to Eastwood’s Deli and Cooking School for their support of About Regional’s Festival of Open Minds in September.

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