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Free Cooking Classes Aim to Empower Kids in Tampa’s Underserved Neighborhoods



Free cooking class in Tampa

Eating out is expensive, so more families are choosing to eat at home.

There’s a free cooking class for kids that’s teaching them how to help out in the kitchen. Kids are learning culinary lessons that will last a lifetime.

“We learn things like sharing and measuring and how to hold a knife and just kind of a nice little spread of things,” Chef Nicholas Bryon, co-owner of Pasta Packs Restaurant, said.

It’s part of the University Area Community Development Corporation’s “Get Moving!” Program. It provides support to the underserved community near USF.

“As you grow up you’re going to be living on your own. So you gotta learn how to cook,” said Ronnie Oliver, deputy director of the “Get Moving!” Program. “So that’s what I have in this class, is to teach the kids the proper way to cook.”

Chef Nicholas Bryon and his brother Greg teach kids the ABC’s of cooking.

“One of our, like, base goals is to get them to eat healthy without making it, you know, like not appetizing, because it’s still a little kid’s palate,” Greg said.

They’ve taught the kids how to make everything from cookies and cupcakes to meatballs.

“Just trying to show them how to make some fresh food from scratch,” said Chef Nicholas. “You know, it’s kind of fun. Very interactive.”

Kids have even learned how to roll out their own fresh pasta.

“The kids will get to roll the dough. Flatten it out,” said Greg. “They’ll cut the dough, and then we’ll boil it. They’ll get a chance to eat it.”

The class has been running for four years and the children seem to love it.

“I like cooking,” said 9-year-old Kayla Ternival. “And when I grow up, I want to have my own restaurant.”

Student Kaleb Stony said, “I go home and cook sometimes for the family whenever, like, my mom’s busy, or she’s, like, not feeling good.”

“They make me laugh,” said Shaw Allen. “Yeah. It’s like, really fun here with the others.”

The class meets twice a month and is open to kids aged 7 to 14. For more information, click here. The report is published on FOX 13 News.

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