Culinary Camps in Kansas City

About Us

Inquiring Chef Academy offers Montessori-inspired culinary camps for kids in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City. We are owned and operated by a Brookside mom and chef.

At our Day Camps and Week-Long Summer Camps your child will gain hands-on cooking experience and build confidence in the kitchen. We bake treats and design ways to present them and work in small groups to prepare our snacks and lunch. We play games, do colorful crafts, and learn hosting skills that will serve your child for years to come.

We use a variety of tools so that even our youngest campers can safely participate. No cooking experience needed.

Camp Details

Click on any camp for a detailed description and to enroll.

*For summer camps, select the grade your child will complete in the 2023-2024 school year.

If a camp is sold out, contact us at to be added to the waitlist

Meet Jess

All of our camps are taught by Jess Smith alongside a team of staff and counselors. Jess has been cooking professionally for 15 years. She served as the Chief Recipe Developer at Cook Smarts and has been featured in Raddish KidsParadeHallmarkHonest CookingLivestrongSelfYahooNBCHuffPost, and She Knows

Jess has a Masters’ Degree in Education Policy and spent the early part of her career working in education. She is a proud mom to Molly and Clara (age 9) and June (age 5) who attend Academie Lafayette.

You can find Jess most days of the week sharing vegetable-forward recipes on Instagram. Her first cookbook, Start with a Vegetable, will be released in the fall of 2024.


Contact Jess and the team at


Where is camp?

Camps are held at two beautiful locations in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City. Day camps are scheduled at HJ’s Youth and Community Center (6425 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64113). Summer camps are scheduled at Westminster Hall at Second Presbyterian Church (318 E. 55th St. Kansas City, MO 64113).

What if I have a picky eater?

We believe that food phases and preferences are a natural part of growing up. We are a zero-pressure environment and never pressure any of our campers to taste something they’re not ready to try. If your child is in a picky eating phase, they will still have fun learning new skills, handling and preparing a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, and making new friends.

All of our snacks and meals are served family-style or buffet-style (both great ways to practice manners too!) so that our campers can serve themselves and have plenty of choices.

(We do usually find that being around new foods in a supportive, fun environment encourages kids to be more adventurous during camp and after!)

What is the class / camp size?

Depending on the style of camp and activities planned, each camp has 20-25 kids. We aim for a ratio of 5:1 campers to staff.

Do you offer extended hours?

At this time we do not offer extended hours. We know that many working parents are looking for camps that start earlier and extend later, so we are brainstorming ways to make this available.

What does the cost include?

The cost of all culinary camps include everything your child will need while they are with us: snacks, lunches, and treats for the kids to bring home to share. All they need to bring each day is themselves!

Weekly Camps: Our weekly camps also include a cookbook that your child will design and decorate throughout the week and bring home so they can recreate their recipes after camp is over.

What if my child has an allergy?

Please note it in your registration form. If it is a severe allergy please reach out at before registering so we can discuss if it is possible for us to offer a safe environment.

We often cook with eggs and dairy. All of our camps are nut-free, but we cannot guarantee that the spaces we use have not been exposed to potential allergens.

Do you offer scholarships?

If the cost of camp is prohibitive, contact Jess directly at We have scholarships available and do our best to make it possible for every child to attend.

Camp Counselors and Staff – complete an interest form!

Camp is run by an enthusiastic team of counselors and staff. All counselors and staff are trained and complete a background check. If you are or know of someone who would be interested in working with Jess this summer, please see here for more information.