The Hungry Oven

by Parrish Wilson.  (WestCoast Families events coordinator)

Last night I was treated to a delicious Moroccan meal at The Hungry Oven. One might have thought the beautiful meal presented to us had been cooked by professional chefs but the truth is, it was cooked by kids!

The appetizer for the evenings was Crudite with Moroccan Hummus and Grilled Flatbread (cooked hummus which was honestly better than any hummus I’ve ever had) and veggie sticks. I was completely smitten with the presentation of these and will absolutely replicate the idea at my own house in the near future.

The table was then set with Moroccan Couscous Salad and Tabouli Casserole. Gus, the prodigy of The Hungry Oven who competed as the youngest competitor ever (13!) in BC Chef’s Association’s Teen Cooking Contest, served our meal. He told us of dreams to have his own restaurant one day and about how he convinced his mom to switch to a gas range with their current kitchen renovation.

The meal didn’t end there. We watched with anticipation as the kids plated the Egyptian Orange Cake.  This was a perfect end to a delicious and filling meal (yes, I had seconds).

The Hungry Oven is the awesome idea of Debby Tonn and runs cooking camps for kids in North Vancouver. The space has been designed with families in mind – kids as young as 3.5 years old can cook in the kinder kitchen. This kitchen has convection ovens and safe knives – it’s almost impossible for anyone to get hurt. The older kids cook in one of two real commercial kitchens, learning skills that can help them at home and in future jobs.

Even the parents have a place all their own: a parent’s lounge where you can sit back, enjoy a coffee and watch your kids cook up a storm on the live streaming video feed. But actually parents can get their cook on too. Debby offers Girls Night Out, Date Night, Book Club, Special Events and even Team Building options for those of us too old to join the day camps.

Perhaps the best part of the night was when the kids told us how they now cook at home for their parents… when can I enroll my son?

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