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Cooking academy gives away 200 free classes to young Richmondites

Free drop-in classes at the Montessori-inspired academy are available to first-time attendees.
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Richmond's Little Kitchen Academy is giving away 200 free drop-in classes to first-time students.

A local Montessori-inspired cooking academy is hoping to give back to Richmond by letting more members of the community try out its classes.

Richmond's Little Kitchen Academy is giving away 200 drop-in classes for the current winter session to first-time attendees. The giveaway includes classes from now until March 12, 2023.

"(We) decided that for the start of 2023, we really wanted to give back to our local community," said owner Nicholas Popoff, who runs the Richmond and Surrey locations with his wife Angela Popoff.

The only criterion for the giveaway, said Popoff, is it has to be "a student (who) never experienced the magic of Little Kitchen Academy before."

"Primarily, this is for children who may not have access to being able to attend Little Kitchen Academy," he added.

Students attending Little Kitchen Academy will get to learn how to make a recipe using local produce in a parent-free classroom. The program's mandate is to create an independent child and it aims to teach children practical life skills, the importance of a healthy diet and eating habits, and sustainability and recycling. 

The recipes, which are constantly updated, are entirely vegetable-based and students do not cook with meat, seafood or poultry. Vegetables used in the recipes are grown in the classrooms and students will also learn to harvest them.

"We're trying to help children understand that vegetables can taste really, really good using unique recipes and herbs and spices," Popoff explained.

Another important purpose for the academy, said Popoff, is to help tackle the child obesity crisis and low vegetable intake among children in North America.

Classes are available for four age groups: three to five, six to eight, nine to 12 and 13 to 18-year-olds. All children are welcome and the classroom is equipped with a fully-accessible station.

Costs for drop-in classes, which take around two and a half to three hours, vary from $72.50 to $96.25 depending on the session.

To redeem a free class, enter the code LKARICHMONDGIVES when registering online. The free classes are available first-come-first-serve and only first-time attendees will be eligible. 

Group bookings for up to 10 students are also eligible for the giveaway. For more information, email nicholas_popoff@littlekitchenacademy.com.

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