Last Updated: Jan 23rd, 2011 - 06:37:27
| Playful Chef- Review
By Cynthia Kirkeby
Sep 18, 2008, 18:32 PST
The Playful Chef has a cooking set for kids, age 6 and up, which says it will help kids learn real cooking. The kit comes with the following items:
- Clear plastic backpack full of goodies
- Denim apron - kid-sized filled with
- 3 minute timer
- basting brush
- small wooden spoon
- safety scissor
- color-coded plastic measuring spoons
- small metal bowl
- small metal loaf pan
- color-coded plastic measuring cups
- colorful set of large recipe cards
The items that they've chosen for the kit are very good picks for kids. We especially like the fact that the measuring cups and measuring spoons are color-coded. If you are cooking with young kids that can't read fractions yet, they can pick out the right measurement by its color. All of the other items seem to be well-made.
The one odd choice is the apron, which is blue denim. There is a reason that chefs wear white aprons... you can bleach them! Blue denim may be cute, but it may look pretty bad after a few cooking sessions, despite washings. Although, denim tends to look good, even when it is stained and worn, so it might work out after all.
There are only five over-sized recipe cards, and the difficulty level varies. The planning, shopping, prepping, and safety sections are fairly well thought out, with the color-coding again helping to make things easier for young children. However, the font that was used on the cards may be a little difficult for young readers.
The recipe side of the cards is, unfortunately, poorly laid out. The steps go back and forth from side to side, but they don't line up horizontally, so the steps are a little difficult to track. Also, trying to keep each of the directions to ten steps, the directions become inconsistent; four of the cards tell kids to clean their utensils and pots, while the one for the Egg and Cheese Brunch Soufflé doesn't. It also seems that they could have created a better recipe than the Simply Delicious Spaghetti which requires an adult to do half of the steps (4 out of 8, minus washing their hands and washing their pots and pans). There is a cookbook available with 33 more recipes, falling into the following fun sections:
- Eggscellent Breakfast Dishes
- Snack Attack
- Main Dishes
- The Science of Cooking
- Mix It Up Salads
- Traditional Holiday Favorites
- Pet Treats
- International Holidays
Overall, we think the Playful Chef set is a fun way to get kids into cooking at a young age. This cooking set steps-up kids from Easy-Bake Ovens into the actual kitchen. There are definitely places the creators could improve the product, a graphic designer who understands more about directions would help, but the Playful Chef is a fun place to start. The price seems to be rather high for a kids set, coming in at $39.95 - $42.95 at retail. We would expect to see a larger set of recipe cards or a full cookbook in the set at that price, but if money isn't an issue, the budding chef in your house is bound to be impressed.
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