Frequently Asked Questions
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. Campers and afterschool students get membership for the duration of their program by signing up. Family memberships (which include guest passes) are available on a monthly basis. We are a club in the most inclusive sense of the word: we invite and encourage all to join.
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 about knives and all that?
Knife skills are crucial, and cuts and injuries practically inevitable as you're mastering them (and even after!). For that reason, this fall we'll start offering a monthly knife skills class, open to parents and kids. 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 finger guard, or will use a knife that can't inflict harm.
Students will stand at the stove and learn proper safety techniques for holding pans, using tools, and more. Our burners are all induction: the surface heats pots and pans with magnetic technology, so the surface isn't hot.
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 accommodate special diets?
We do our reasonable best! Food allergies and individual diets are an increasing part of our world, and teaching how to cook with them 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 campers. 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. Because of the nature of what we do, we can’t guarantee a completely controlled environment.
What is the age range for summer classes?
Our summer class instruction is for kids aged 8 and up. Activities will be grouped by skill-level and ages. This is distinct from our afterschool, which is geared to tweens and teens.
What is your student to adult ratio?
Our class size is no more than 24 students (each of our four prep tables and stools accommodate 6), and we aim for a ratio of 6:1.
What kind of outdoor time do kids get at camp?
We have a sunny backyard garden where kids can relax and hang out. Each day, we take a trip to a local food producer, market or restaurant. We'll be taking public transport to some destinations and will let parents know when and where at the beginning of camp.
What is your cancellation policy?
We get it: things come up, plans change. You can always cancel and have your fees applied to future camps and classes. Since camp fees go toward food that needs to be ordered and chef instructors that need to be booked beforehand, we have a 30 day cancellation policy for full refunds. If a refund isn’t requested in that 30-day window, we can offer a credit toward future programs.
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 here.
Do you offer sibling and multi-week discounts?
Yes! We offer a 10% discount for siblings and multi-week registrations.
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 after school and camp. 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.
Who prepares the foods sold in cafe?
Not our members! While some of the foods may be recipes they made in camp, all of the foods sold in the cafe are made by our employees or partners. The foods members make in class and bring home or serve at their Pop-Up meal still abide by those rules and regulations, but they are not sold to the public (even though they may be just as delicious!) There is always someone present who holds the required Food Protection Certificate from the NYC Department of Health
What is the online social club of The Dynamite Shop?
PLEASE NOTE: As of this writing we are planning to open our cafe in May and be ready for the first week of camp during the last week of June. In the unlikely event that we are not able to open in time for camp, we have arranged to rent space at the Montauk Club, a beautiful, historic social club on Eighth Avenue near Grand Army Plaza.