Kids in the Kitchen

Are you running out of ideas to keep your kids entertained? Tracy Cates might have the perfect solution for you. With over 30 years of experience in the culinary field as a chef, instructor, professional caterer, and many other white fluffy hats, Tracy is now directing her expertise into designing fun classes to get kids excited in the kitchen.


Tracy first established the COOK! Programs in 2009 to lead hands-on cooking classes for Bay Area youth. Traditionally, the courses last six weeks during summer break and the curriculum works for kids between ages 9 and 18 to help them learn culinary basics, recipe interpretation, and knife safety. Her focus is to help kids develop confidence through a collaborative and supportive environment, curated expertly by Tracy.


The COOK! Programs are not only pivoting to provide online cooking classes for kids and their families, each Friday they are going to provide a recipe to test out at home as a family.

“The COOK! philosophy is that hands-on cooking is good for the body, heart, and mind. We believe that all kids benefit from this tactile, sensorial activity, and that community can be cultivated, bodies nurtured, and sanity maintained through this simple and rewarding activity.”

"COOK! Programs is excited to be making a home at the Castro Valley Marketplace, and I look forward to getting to know the local families in the area. Until we are able to gather again safely, we are pleased to be offering online courses with our talented chefs. If we are able, COOK! will host a full summer of camps, as well. Until then, we will be sharing activities and recipe ideas for you to do with your kids at home.

May you all remain healthy and well-fed!”

We are thrilled to bring you a taste of Tracy’s ingenuity each week as she helps you navigate the kitchen with your kids!