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Roppongi Hills cooks up ideas for kids

by Magdalena Osumi

Staff Writer

Cooking with others is a win-win situation. It not only can help foster family togetherness but it also teaches children that preparing food is not simply a chore, it’s a useful activity that can be fun.

This summer, the Roppongi Hills complex in Tokyo is hosting a number of workshops where kids can hone their kitchen skills while spending time with their families.

On Saturdays, first- to third-grade elementary school children and their parents can learn how to decorate pancakes like a professional, as well as create latte coffee art. Organized by the coffee chain Tully’s, participation costs ¥1,500.

Older kids, from age 8 to 12 might want to join another coffee chain’s workshop — Starbucks, which is offering to train them to be coffee baristas for ¥1,080. Classes take place every day through Aug. 24, and young baristas who complete training get to demonstrate their skills to their parents by serving them a perfect cup of coffee. Participants also get to make their own customized Frappuccino dessert drink.

For parents hoping to encourage their children to learn about traditional Japanese cuisine and nutrition, there’s a workshop for 5-year-olds to elementary school age that covers basic cooking instructions for udon noodles. These classes are held on Aug. 5 and 19 and teach children about homemade udon. They can knead dough, watch the noodles get cut then eat the final dish. Participation costs ¥500.

All these workshops are part of the Roppongi Hills’ Kids’ Workshops program, which features various other cooking classes as well as arts and crafts lessons, exhibitions, sports events and other learning activities.

The Kids’ Workshops program runs till Aug. 24 at various locations within the Roppongi Hills complex, near Roppongi and Nogizaka subway stations. Fees and dates depend on the event and online reservations are required. For more information, call 03-6406-6000 or visit www.roppongihills.com/workshop/2014/cooking.