It was taught by a for-real, serious chef, who complimented his knife skills as "perfect."
It took place in a for-real, serious chef's kitchen, stocked to the rafters with every spice and kitchen tool imaginable. He was allowed to explore and touch and taste whatever he wanted.
He chose the Dim Sum class because it sounded the "most hardest." (Also because of Kung Fu Panda, I'm pretty sure.)
We made a variety of dumplings and spring rolls, with different fillings and folding/rolling styles.
He and I were tasked with making the shrimp dumpling filling for the class, and he admirably did almost all the chopping and measuring and even dug into peeling and de-veining the shrimp, which neither of us had ever done before.
(He did ask me what the black stuff was and I told him that it was shrimp poop, which embarrassed him. "You didn't really need to say that," he told me, but then carried on bravely with his de-pooping duties.)
(Turns out I don't have an actual shellfish allergy after all, but more of a "sensitivity." So I try not to eat it every single day for multiple days in a row while ignoring hives and stuff. I keep Benadryl on hand just in case, but I've been just fine for awhile now.)
We made so many dumplings we ran out of space in the steamer baskets, so Ezra suggested we fry some like the spring rolls. "That's a good idea," the chef said. "Let's try that."
I ended up on the fryer duty, while Ezra got SUPER into fortune cookie baking. The cookies were filled with fortunes written by all the young chefs, and a few from us parents.
I got one of Ezra's, which told me I had "nice cooking skills." A little girl at our table got mine, which said she'd make a lot of new friends.
She pointed at Ezra and laughed, "Look, it came true!"
They both watch a lot of the same cooking shows, it turns out, and have started work on their very own cookbooks.
(Another girl at our table had never cooked before at all and didn't even know what a measuring cup looked like. By the end of the class she'd made an entire batch of cookie batter all by herself and was producing absolutely perfect spring rolls..)
We all stuffed ourselves with several of everything, and while the kitchen's license doesn't allow for carry-out food, Ezra was allowed to take home enough leftover fortune cookies to share with his dad and brothers. The chef correctly guessed he was the middle child, and asked what made him interested in cooking.
"I love to EAT!" he said, then looked at me and asked how old he was when he made food for the first time.
"You were about four," I said, trying to do some quick math. "You helped make baby food for Ike all the time, and then you started helping with dinner around that time too."
The chef told him he did a great job and mentioned he also teaches the pizza class for kids.
"Oh I kind of already know how to make pizza," Ezra said. "But I can come back to help you!"
We stopped for a scoop of ice cream with the class afterwards, just to keep the fun going a little longer.
"That was the best morning of my entire life," he sighed with happiness when we got back to the car. "Can I make dim sum for dinner one night this week?"
Yes you can, Chef! Yes you definitely can.