Frequently Asked Questions
What's your approach to teaching cooking?
We teach home cooking and real-life skills with the goal of inspiring curious, creative and confident cooks. We focus on teaching kids to cook with all of their senses and to understand the building blocks of a meal. While lessons from chefs and restaurant kitchens are what drive our programming, we're not training kids to be aspiring pros (there are no paper toques here!) Kids will taste flavor combinations, learn fundamental recipes and techniques, and the take home the kind of tips and tricks smart home cooks always keep up their sleeve. They'll learn to read and follow recipes, and also to riff on them and turn them into their own creations.
What is the age range?
We work with children ages eight and up. Activities are grouped by skill-level and ages. We offer special supper club classes for kids eleven and up on occasional Fridays.
What is your student to adult ratio?
Our class size is no more than 25 students (each of our five prep tables and stools accommodate 5), and we maintain at least a 1:8 teacher student ratio.
What about knives and all that?
Knife skills are crucial, and cuts and injuries practically inevitable as you're mastering them (and even after!) We teach basic knife skills and safety to all our students the first day. In our afterschool classes and camps, much of the mincing and chopping is done by our instructors, which also frees us up to focus on cooking, tasting, learning, and creating. When students do hold a knife, they will be supervised from start to finish and wear a safety glove.
Students will stand at our induction burners and learn proper safety techniques for holding pans, using tools, and more.
Different people have different levels of physical acuity and varying levels of attention to their bodies in space. If you have particular concerns about your child or need for our instructors to watch out for certain things, please let us know.
How do you deal with disciplinary issues?
We take discipline very seriously. As stated above, we work with knifes, hot pans and are able to achieve a tremendous amount of cooking (and fun!) in short periods of time so it is absolutely essential that students follow our rules. We cover them on the first day of all programs, post them at each table, and regularly remind students. If there are any disciplinary challenges — throwing food, inappropriate talk, rough-housing, repeated interrupting of class, etc. — we will ask the student to sit away from the class and we will call parents for pick-up. We reserve the right to ask a student to leave the program if we find their behavior disruptive.
Can parents watch class?
Absolutely! We have an area in the front where parents can sit during class. We ask that you not come into the teaching kitchen during the program.
What is a social club exactly?
Good question! There's a long history of social clubs in the city and they've played a big part in fostering a sense of community and enrichment for members. Think about the old-school ones like the Elk’s Club or the YMCA - organizations whose mission turned their headquarters into gathering places for social justice like the NAACP and clubs where the women’s suffrage movement came to life, and newer iterations like Soho House and The Wing.
While The Dynamite Shop is a social club geared to teens and ‘tweens, all ages can and are encouraged to join so they can participate in The Dynamite Shop events and meals. Students get membership for the duration of their program which offers discounts to special events, space rentals, and purchases in our cafe. We are a club in the most inclusive sense of the word: we invite and encourage all to join.
How do you accommodate special diets?
We do our reasonable best! Food allergies and individual diets are an increasing part of our world, and knowing how to cook with these challenges in mind empowers kids to take control of and own their food lives. While our curriculum will include the whole range of ingredients, we will make every effort to accommodate vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free participants. Please note there are ingredients such as nuts, wheat and dairy in the building, so if your child has serious food allergies, please speak with us directly.
What is your cancellation policy?
We get it: you register for a class and then things come up, plans change. You can always cancel and have your fees applied to future sessions. Since tuition fees go toward food that needs to be ordered and chef instructors that need to be booked in advance, we have a 30-day cancellation policy for full refunds on our afterschool program, one-off classes, and camps (one day camps, summer camp, holiday camps, etc). If a refund isn’t requested within that 30-day window, we can offer a credit toward future programs.
What is your make up policy?
During the course of our afterschool terms, it is not unusual for children to miss a class due to illness, travel, school tours, etc. If you know ahead of time that your child will be absent and we have room in another day, we can try to accommodate a make up. We do not issue refunds for missed classes.
Do you offer scholarships?
It’s our goal to make The Dynamite Shop accessible to all. We are working with our partners on scholarships (if you’d like to sponsor one, please contact us). Until then, we offer a limited number of discounted and comped classes to students whose parents volunteer time to help at The Dynamite Shop. If you are interested, please contact us.
Do you offer sibling discounts?
Yes! We offer a 10% discount for siblings.
How does the cafe fit in?
Our cafe is divided from the social club space and open to the public. That said, only parents and caretakers come inside while classes are in session: others use the pass-through service window during hours of afterschool. Our kitchen is inspected by the Department of Heath and we follow all of the rules and regulations for food safety for the foods served in our coffee shop.
What is the online social club of The Dynamite Shop?