Professional chef and dad Chris Heyman loves to cook with his family. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he and his wife moved from Larchmont to nearby Lafayette Square with their 8- and 10-year-olds.
“We love Larchmont, but this is a really wonderful neighborhood. As a family, we spent time hanging out in the street most days and really got to meet our neighbors,” explained Heyman. For those who are not familiar, Lafayette Square is a semi-closed neighborhood off Crenshaw Blvd., filled with historic homes built around the same time as Larchmont Village, Windsor Square and Hancock Park.
After working decades in the local restaurant business and seeing the devastation COVID brought to many local restaurants, Heyman told the Buzz he was looking for a new way to work and cook more directly with people, so he decided to try giving family cooking classes a try.
“I wanted to offer a way for families to learn together,” Heyman told the Buzz. “I was surprised that it didn’t really exist, so I decided to create a unique learning experience for both parents and kids. It’s been great, parents feel comfortable asking questions because they have a child and children will try the food they make.”
So Heyman created Dad-a-Licious and began offering cooking classes in his Lafayette Square home. Aside from learning and having fun, there are other benefits too.
“Cooking together is a great work around for picky eaters,” said Heyman. “It was a game-changer for my son, who was a picky eater, but not any more.”
Heyman said he is gratified to see how being in the kitchen brings families together in a fun way while also teaching cooking skills and nutritional information and an appreciation of where food comes from, which offers an opportunity to talk about sustainability and reducing food waste.
Lately, Heyman has also been offering birthday party options. He taught a soufflé class last weekend, making both savory and sweet soufflés that are perfect for Valentine’s Day. This weekend he’s offering a Valentine’s steak dinner class, where he’ll be making steak with red wine reduction, potatoes Anna, and molten chocolate cake.
Classes are two hours long. They include recipes, and for some classes additional ingredients so students can take some home to make the recipe the next day. Kids are not required for classes, and Heyman is happy to organize private classes for adults too. The cost is $120.00 per couple, parent and child, and includes eating what you make. Cooking classes for parents and kids are offered on the weekends for now, though Heyman is exploring other ideas like camps and weekday classes.
About Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.
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