Take 12 to 15 kids, combine them with one exceptional cook, stir in a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and 13 years of teaching experience, and watch the magic happen. It’s a class at Batter Up Kids Cooking School in Austin, Texas, where Barbara Beery lovingly lets the dough of ideas rise. In a warm, supportive atmosphere where adventure is key, Barbara gently kneads, giving the kind of encouragement that’s often missed. Here, kids get the go-ahead to be hands-on in the kitchen—to smell, touch, taste, and most importantly, make mistakes—without ever hearing “don’t play with your food.”
Barbara Beery founded Batter Up Kids in 1991, and she currently teaches about 100 kids per month. Thanks to her mother, Barbara learned at a young age that the kitchen is a wonderful culinary playground. Barbara has taught thousands of children in year-round classes, cooking birthday parties, and summer cooking camps. She’s also created hundreds of menus and recipes, and is always reminding kids that they can try anything, and can definitely have fun with your food.
Beery’s recipes and cooking school have been featured on NBC’s Today Show, as well as in The New York Times, Family Fun magazine, Southern Living, the Austin American-Statesman, and on Good Eats with Alton Brown on the Food Network and various ABC, CBS, and NBC television affiliates. Barbara is also the author of the popular Pink Princess Cookbooks series, which includes Pink Princess Cookbook, Fairies Cookbook and Mermaid Cookbook. She is also author of Batter Up Kids: Sensational Snacks and Batter Up Kids: Delicious Desserts. She is currently franchising Batter Up Kids Culinary Center.
Barbara is a member of IACP and has participated in the Share Our Strength Great American Bake Sale in 2003 and 2004, as well as in the recipe contest for the 40th anniversary of Easy Bake Oven. She is currently working for the TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE creating and writing healthy kid-friendly recipes that are being distributed to all elementary schools in the state of Texas.