Vicky Veloso-Barrera’s Tiny Kitchen is back in business!

Published July 11, 2021, 9:18 AM

by Marie Buenaventura

Teach your kids a life skill this rainy season

COOKING MAMA Vicky Velosa-Barrera prepares okonomiyaki in one of her morning sessions

Vicky Veloso Barrera spent her summers watching her mom, designer Malu Veloso, create sartorial masterpieces, even learning to sew on her own, but it was cooking she really loved. She would pore over Betty Crocker cookbooks and her mom’s cookbooks, choosing instead to spend summer hours in the kitchen creating her own recipes, and making up special dishes. (She loved cooking so much that when her cousins came to play, she would be in the kitchen preparing their snacks instead of playing with them.)

So for the past 23 years, Vicky has run Tiny Kitchen, her own cooking school for children and teens, with the youngest learners at 3, and the oldest at 19. She’s never faltered in the past two decades, except for when she was pregnant with her third child—but the pandemic stopped her operations, and Vicky’s little chefs decided they didn’t want to do online classes. Vicky, who’s also an author, instead focused on writing the fourth and fifth installments of her The Sign of the Rabbit books.

K-RICE Among the most requested dishes in the summer classes was kimchi fried rice

“I’ve spent my time last year working on my books and practicing a lot of new recipes,” she says. “When I asked my ‘old’ — meaning regular — students last year if they might be interested in online classes, the majority replied that they preferred to wait until face-to-face classes could resume.”

To her surprise, in February this year, her regular students and their parents started reaching out to her, wondering if she could resume Tiny Kitchen online. 

“I guess the kids have gotten used to learning online,” Vicky says. “So I quickly came up with a plan where we would send the ingredients to students and, if needed, buy kitchen equipment for them.”

ZOOM COOKS Vicky Velosa-Barrera and some of her students in morning class

There’s a list of items they can choose from and options for those who don’t have an oven.

With school break around the corner, Vicky says it’s time to encourage kids to learn some new dishes. Your children can enroll in a small group or opt to make arrangements for one-on-one sessions.

“It’s a life skill, after all,” Vicky says.

‘The classes are small, with a maximum of five students so that I can watch and guide them properly.’

Since April this year she has been holding classes online, providing old and new students menus to choose from. Ingredients are then delivered to their homes two hours before each session.

SWEET LESSON Desserts are also tackled in class, such as this strawberry shortcake in a glass

“The classes are small, with a maximum of five students so that I can watch and guide them properly,” she adds. Vicky has taught English at De La Salle University, so she’s comfortable with instructing and forming young minds.

After more than two decades of focusing on kids, she knows their likes and dislikes, customizing recipes to suit their level of ability.

“I didn’t know the online classes would be a lot of fun, even as we miss the camaraderie of the face-to-face classes,” says Vicky, who thought COVID would spell the end for Tiny Kitchen. 

She offers classes all year round. For inquiries contact Vicky at 09175393940, [email protected], or the Tiny Kitchen FB page.