Little Pizzaiolas in training

By on May 11, 2015

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Believing in empowering kids by teaching them how to cook, Domino’s Kids Pizza Academy organizes cooking classes  to promote the art of pizza-making and offer children the opportunity to let their imagination run wild.

Domino’s Japan is best known as a take-away pizza brand but not many foreign residents know that it runs kids’ cooking classes too. Domino’s Pizza Japan’s PR manager, Mr. Karazawa explains, “Actually, the cooking class has been around for many years. It’s just that our website is in Japanese.”

The coming summer school break can be a frantic time for parents with bored kids at home. This is certainly one fun activity that teaches kids delayed gratification – that they can only eat after putting in some work.

Curious about what goes on inside a typical class, Tokyo families visited Domino’s Azabu Juban kitchen where two Tokyo kids who love pizza, Alyssa, 4 and Daphne Kane 5 ½, have signed up for a cooking session.

Mr. Saito, the store manager, together with his eager-to-teach team, welcomed the kids and handed each one a bright blue cap and a cute, miniature-sized apron to wear. There was one issue though. Alyssa was not in the mood to wear hers, at least, not for the first ten minutes. But after mom’s gentle persuasion, she finally gave in. “Not the cap, just the apron,” insists Alyssa. So donned in their blue cooking uniforms, off marched the two to the spacious professional kitchen where the whole drill started with an orientation. You can see the glint in their mothers’ eyes as they watched Saito san and his staff give the kids an edu-tour explaining every detail of a typical business day at Domino’s from taking pizza orders and cooking to boxing and delivery.

“Now, it’s time for us to get started. Cooking starts with very clean hands so we need you to wash them before touching food,” says the staff gently to Alyssa and Daphne before guiding them to the wash area.

Then the two went to the long countertop to create dough from scratch. Daphne gazed in amazement as the hand-tossed dough turned into a familiar shape. After flattening the dough, they moved on to the highlight of pizza making – the toppings.

For kids, it’s like painting on a blank canvass where they get to choose what colors and shape to put together on their pizza dough. Alyssa topped hers with more pineapple tidbits and lots of pepperoni and cheese while Daphne’s had more eggplants, tomatoes and mozzarella. The results were two different looks and tastes.

The pizzas were put in a conveyor pizza oven to bake while the kids watched and waited in excitement.

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Cut!

Tada!

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Daphne receives her “well done” certificate from manager Mr. Saito.

Alyssa receiving her certificate from Domino's Azabu Juban manager Mr. Saito

Alyssa receives her certificate from Domino’s Mr. Saito

They sliced, boxed and by the end of the class, they had learned to cook pizza, memorized the toppings and experienced how Domino’s workers do their jobs. The two aspiring pizzaiolas had the biggest smiles as they receive the box of pizza they created, the apron and cap they wore, plus a “well done” certificate with their names written on it guaranteeing them free small size French fries (honored at all Domino’s stores in Japan) until they reach adult age!

1128_A4_PizzaKidsAcademy_RTo book a class, kids must be at least 4 years old. Select an area from 236 Domino’s Pizza Kids Academy in Tokyo. Pick a schedule and ask for an English class when you book. If you don’t, classes will be held in Japanese. There are 2 programs: A course ¥1,389 (plus tax) includes lessons and take-home pizza; the B course that Alyssa and Daphne took is 1,852 yen (plus tax) and includes lessons, take-home pizza, and apron/cap set.
http://www.dominos.jp/relational/school/

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