Saving the Best For Last: Westin Little Chefs Program ZOMG

This is the last Westin-sponsored post from me (MOST. FUN. SPONSORSHIP. EVER!)…perhaps next week we can chat about more general travel-with-many-small-children topics? How we survived the plane, what we packed, what we forgot, what we packed and never removed from the suitcase, and such?  

The final activity on our Westin Kids Club itinerary was the “Westin Little Chefs Program.” And I was pretty much sold on the name alone, even though I had no idea what it involved. Chefs! Little ones! (We’re big, big fans of kids’ cooking programs already, as I’ve written about here and here.)

Here’s what’s actually involved: You bring your kids to one of the hotel restaurants. A Kids Club employee and a chef take over from there. You go to the nearest hotel bar and spend a half hour or so drowning your terror that your kids will behave like the exhausted, overstimulated banshees they are and/or set things on fire. Then you head back to the restaurant, get a table, and wait for the kid-made magic to arrive from the kitchen.

One of the chefs came out and chatted with us about the Little Chefs program; he was a really big fan of it, and kids’ cooking in general. He’s lived in Aruba for decades and raised his own children there and is active in initiatives to get Aruban children to eat healthy…including hosting a kids’ cooking show for local TV! He even invited us and our boys to the next taping that Friday, but alas, this was our last night in paradise. Woe.

After that I was admittedly a lot more relaxed at the idea of my kids being back in the kitchen without my supervision…they were with people who genuinely liked kids and possessed the necessary patience levels. (The bottle of wine we ordered helped too.)

I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking, but no lie: This was the absolute highlight of the whole trip. It was AWESOME. My kids were so proud and so excited to be a part of it that I seriously teared up more than once. I’ve never been anywhere that offered something like this, but man. It’s brilliant. Parents get half a meal alone together (well, we had Baby Ike with us, but he’s the “easy” one, honestly), and half a meal basking in their children’s unadulterated joy and delight at eating food they prepared themselves. Best of both worlds. In Aruba. Everybody go home now, because it just doesn’t get any better than this.

  • Crossing the threshold… 1 of 10
    Crossing the threshold...
    The night started off with a little tour of the massive resort kitchens. I tagged along for a bit before being shooed away so the kids could "surprise" us with an appetizer.
  • image-3 2 of 10
    Kids get chef hats and aprons. My kids politely declined both, since Noah hates "costumes" and Ezra...well, Ezra is 3.5. Noah DID agree to pose for a picture, which: Kinda huge for him, you guys.
  • Our first course… 3 of 10
    Our first course...
    Suddenly I looked up and there were my boys, each eagerly holding a plate of salad they'd made for us. They were SO PROUD OF THESE SALADS, I just about died.
  • Pizza! 4 of 10
    Parents order their main course from the restaurant's menu, while kids make their own pizzas. They made and shaped the dough, then picked out and applied their own toppings.
  • Ham pizza! 5 of 10
    Ham pizza!
    Ezra chose ham, which I don't think he'd ever even had before. He officially loves ham on pizza now, go figure.
  • Pizza face 6 of 10
    Pizza face
    Noah was almost too excited to eat his pizza; he couldn't stop talking about making it and all the funny things the chef did and said and Mommy I know how to make pizza now and I'm AWESOME at pizza and and and...
  • Yeah. 7 of 10
    I know. But what can you do? He's having fun.
  • Dessert 8 of 10
    The boys chose desserts for everyone and added toppings. Though I'm guessing someone else drew flowers and names. JUST A HUNCH.
  • Crashdown 9 of 10
    After all that pizza and cake (plus a ton of free food samples back in the kitchen), everybody was tired and ready to go home...
  • image-4 10 of 10
    ...but then revived with a kiss and a "I'm so proud of you" pep talk from Daddy. Aww...

Huge thanks to Westin Hotels & Resorts for sponsoring this campaign.  Click here to see more of the discussion.

Read more original flavor Amalah
Follow her on Twitter
Check out her writing at Mamapop / Alphamom

More from Amalah’s West:

On Taking A Night Off…On Vacation

Better In Aruba: Five Simple Things Our Kids Won’t Stop Talking About

From Babymoon to Family-of-Five Vacation In Just Seven Years

Article Posted 4 years Ago
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