With a positive energy, a constant, warm smile and a gift for cooking and teaching, Ariel Johnston has become a ‘Jill of All Trades’ at The Culinary Center of Kansas City. Not only does she juggle working just about every position we have here at CCKC, she is also finishing up her final semester of her Dietetics and Nutrition degree at Kansas State University, on her way to becoming a Registered Dietitian, AND she’s one of our newest cooking instructors!
Originally from the Overland Park area, Ariel’s passion for cooking and baking came from her mom, who always encouraged her to try any recipe (and didn’t mind a little mess in the kitchen). After graduating from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO, Ariel moved to Australia for four years. Since moving back to KC, Ariel has taught more than 140 nutrition and cooking classes to kids and adults throughout the KC area for local food bank, Harvesters.
Ariel believes that food is the ingredient that binds us together, and her goal is to incorporate her passion for nutrition and cooking into her work and life. (Follow her Instagram @TastyBalanceDietitian to see photos of dishes she creates, plus recipe ideas!)
Ariel will be teaching three CCKC kids’ cooking classes in November. Click on the class title below for information and registration:
Li’l Kids in the Kitchen: Under The Sea
Sat, Nov 11, 10 a.m. – Noon
$85 per adult/child team (ages 5-8)
We’ll begin our adventure by tying on an apron and working alongside Ariel as she teaches basic culinary techniques like knife skills (using kid-friendly knives, of course!), stirring and mixing, and more that you’ll get to practice as you whip up a Magical Mermaid Smoothie and healthy, homemade Fish Sticks. There’s always sweet treats at the beach, so we’ll end our class with a tasty Suncastle dessert. You’ll get to taste all of your beach-themed creations and take home the recipes so that kids can recreate them at home.
Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Movie Class:
Cooking with Miguel & Friends
Sat, Nov 18, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
$50 per person (ages 6+)
This class is a special partnership inspired by Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco‘ that opens in theaters nationwide Nov 22. Today, kids (ages 6+) will go on an extraordinary culinary journey inspired by aspiring musician, Miguel, and his charming trickster friend, Hector. Join the fun as kids work with an experienced cooking instructor to learn some awesome culinary skills as they help to make some authentic Mexican dishes. Everyone throws on an apron to prepare some tasty Mexican recipes like Miguel’s Favorite Guacamole, his favorite dog Dante’s, delicious Empanadas de Pollo (that’s fancy Mexican talk for seasoned chicken in a pastry pocket!) with Cilantro Lime Rice, and Hector’s Scrumptious Sugar Cookies. Each attendee will be entered for a chance to win passes to attend a special advance screening of ‘Coco’ on Mon, 11/20, plus kid-friendly ‘swag’ like movie posters, pins and more.
(PLEASE NOTE: Kids ages 6-8 must attend with an adult who will also need to purchase an additional seat at $50; kids ages 9 and up may attend unaccompanied if they like)
Li’l Kids in the Kitchen: Little Kids in Little Italy
Sun, Nov 19, 1 – 3 p.m.
$85 per adult/child team (ages 5-8)
Our mini chefs and their adult partners will take a trip across the ocean to Italy. The kids will get hands-on cooking action as Ariel teaches basic culinary techniques like knife skills (with kid-friendly knives, of course!), stirring, the proper way to measure, and more, that you’ll practice as you create a tasty sauce that will pair perfectly with your homemade pasta. We’ll end our Italian feast with one of Ariel’s special creations – Cone-oli’s – a unique twist on a classic Italian dessert that you’re gonna love.