Innovative Junior Chef Culinary Programs

Culinary classes, therapeutic programs & life skills training to nourish body, mind and soul™.

Junior Chef Culinary programs are cooking up change that lasts a lifetime for youth and their families.


Fanjoy’s Junior Chef programming provides youth, age 12-20 years of age, with innovative cooking classes and therapeutic programs that build confidence, increase social connection and teach healthy life skills for optimal mental health.   When youth feel that they belong and can feed their body, mind and soul, they will thrive and reach their potential.  Let’s connect and cook together.

“Junior Chef is more than just a program. You become part of the Fanjoy Family once you’ve taken the fundamentals.”

Hear what our Junior Chefs and their families have to say about our programs…

 Cooking for teens & young adults preparing for independence

Register for Culinary Fundamentals 

Helping teens & young adults with mental health & Autism

Book a free Discovery Call for more Information

Culinary and life skills classes for LGBTQ2S+ non binary youth 

Learn More About
Rainbow Connections

More information on which fees may be covered by your healthcare provider

Learn more about the Fanjoy Bursary for Junior Chef Programs

AGES: 12–16 years old
Maximum of 6 students

Fanjoy Junior Chef™ Culinary Fundamentals 

Fall REgistration is open for Guelph Classes For Beginners – ages 12-16 years Old

Join our next 6 week course in Guelph:  October 15th – November 19th, 2022

Our Saturday Fanjoy Culinary Fundamentals cooking class will focus on learning the  fundamentals of knife skills, using heat to create flavour, wet & dry cooking techniques, basic sauce making and how to use what is at hand in the kitchen to reduce food waste.  Teens will build their confidence, make new friends and experience how food can bring us together for more connection.  Menus will focus on using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and developing the skill of cooking without needing to even have a recipe. Click here for sample menus. All youth will need to purchase a Junior Chef Kit

NOTE: Advanced culinary techniques, butchery and using other proteins are taught in the next level of Culinary Classics, for which Fundamentals Level 1 & 2 is a prerequisite.  If your teen has autism, mental health concerns or other special needs please book a Discovery Call with us before registering your teen so that we can assess the best cooking classes for them to begin with.

FEES:   $695 + HST  for a 6 week Level 1 & 2 program ($115.83/class including 2 portions of take home food each class)


2 hour class weekly Saturdays 12 noon-2pm at 10 Carden Shared Space, Guelph with Culinary Instructor and Youth Counsellor, Cai.

Two portions of what you’ve cooked up will be taken home each week to share with your family (value $30 x 6 weeks = $180 + HST).  Additional portions for your family may be purchased as you wish at the time of registration for $18/each + HST. 

AGES: 12-19 years old

Fanjoy Junior Chef™ Culinary SUMMER camp for Teens: Plating up a Sustainable Food Future

REGISTER NOW for August Programs at Fanjoy’s Hillsburgh Culinary Studio

Half Day or Full Day programs available – 9:00am-1:00pm and/or 11:00am-3:00pm, or come for the full day from 9:00am-3:00pm*.
*11:00am-1:00pm all youth will cook and enjoy lunch together and then experience our “Chef’s Chat” where we teach teens about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, food insecurity, eliminating food waste and food’s impact on climate change. NOTE:  We require min of 3 students for each cohort for the split day program to run, or the students will combine to a 11am-3pm class.


Daily technical culinary instruction with Chef Pam along with life skills coaching that focuses on building confidence, developing problem-solving skills, enhancing communication skills and developing self-care strategies while working in the kitchen

Tastings & lunch provided daily as well as a food samplings and dinner that will be coming home for your family’s dinner (value $200/week).  Parents – take a break from cooking this week !  

Fanjoy Junior Chef cookbook binder with recipes and step-by-step instructions

FEES: $695.00 + HST  for half day program or full day camp for $875.00 + HST. A limited number of camp bursaries will be available for families with financial need thanks to the generous support of United Way of Guelph Wellington and Fanjoy Cooking Up Change.  To apply for a bursary click contact

AGES: 12–20 years old
Smaller class sizes

Fanjoy Junior Chef™ Culinary CLASSICS + Life Skills Teen Program with Chef Pam Fanjoy

Guelph Culinary Studio 

Winter PROGRAMS 2023  

Helping teens with autism, mental health challenges or special needs to cope with life’s challenges and find a place where they truly belong while learning to COOK like a rockstar – a skill that will last a lifetime…

These small therapeutic culinary classes run by Chef Pam Fanjoy and Cai, our Youth Counsellor, are geared towards helping youth learn to cook and also cope with life’s more complex challenges including anxiety, depression, family illness or loss, trauma, Autism, ADHD, learning challenges, separation & divorce or eating disorders.  With 30 years of social work experience as an adolescent and family therapist before becoming a chef, Pam has developed a unique way of using milieu approaches in these innovative 2-hour culinary classes where teens disconnect from their screens, take a break from parents, and make new friends all while learning how to cook up their favourite dishes!  Talking about real life problems is easier in the kitchen and learning how to solve complex problems can be natural when you find a place that you belong and can lean in to a new kind of community.  We meet teens where they’re at, help them to communicate, support one another and build positive, strong connections with peers over time.  Parents must apply for their teen to join this program by beginning with a FREE 20 min Discovery Call so we can determine how we can best meet your teen’s needs.

FEES:  $695 + HST ($175/session including take home food) for 4 weekly, 1.5 hour cooking classes with 2 portions of what we have made to take home each week. Payment plans are available and these programs may be covered under your Passport funding or private health care benefits.  A one time, initial 20-30 min FREE Discovery Call  with parent/s is required as a prerequisite to join this program. This call is intended so that we can learn more about your teen and together, choose the best class for their needs.  

DATES: Culinary Classics & Life Skills students will attend Sundays 1-3 pm beginning in January 2023 as we renovate our Hillsburgh studio this fall.  In the meantime, one-on-one programs will be available with Cai in Hillsburgh and Chef Pam in Guelph.  Your teen may also benefit from being paired with one of our volunteer mentors so they can work at their own level and pace during these classes.  

AGES: 14–18 years old

Rainbow Connections

We are currently looking for either a corporate sponsor or Not for Profit funding that will allow us to resume & continue offering our in person programs for LGBTQ2S+ youth this fall. These culinary programs are always made available for select partnering agencies to book privately.  Stay tune for upcoming dates in Guelph and/or Hillsburgh

Culinary and life skills pod for LGBTQ2S+ and NON-BINARY teens

Finding a safe place where you belong is not only important, but critical for our physical health and mental wellbeing. This program is  offered exclusively for youth identifying as gay, lesbian, non binary, trans or anywhere on the LGBTQ spectrum. Gathering together to learn the basics of cooking up healthy food, budgeting, creative plating and our 3 C’s— Communication, Collaboration and Cooperation, teens will find delicious new ways to feed healthy connections and accept themselves AS IS.

FEES: $145 + HST per week with a 4 week commitment but you can start anytime

*Ask about our custom agency youth drop in plans that are available for select Fanjoy Not for Profit or Charitable Partners working within the field of youth mental health, or committed to preventing youth food insecurity and/or homelessness.

You will need to purchase our Junior Chef Starter Kit which includes a t-shirt, hat & wooden spoon.

INCLUDES: 1.5 hr weekly cooking class and 2 individual portions of your culinary creations to take home.

 – please contact for further information if interested.

EXCLUSIVE Culinary Training & 1:1 Therapeutic Sessions
with Chef Pam Fanjoy, MSW, RSW

These 1 hour private sessions with award winning Chopped Canada Champion, and social worker, Chef Pam teach youth aged 11-24 years of age how to cook delicious food while also building tangible communication skills that can transform into other areas of their life at home, school and in the community. With confidence they will become more independent.  These sessions are well suited for children 11-14 preparing to enter our group culinary programs, older teens preparing to enter culinary school programs in the fall that want to gain a head start on skills development, and youth 14 + who who can benefit from milieu treatment as an alternative to talk therapy.  

Chef Pam brings her 30+ years of  experience as both an Adolescent and Family Therapist helping those who experience trauma symptoms, social anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD/ADD, learning exceptions, school difficulties, bullying, separation/divorce issues or are on the spectrum of coming out as a non-binary or LGBTQ2S+ youth. Sessions may be covered by your extended health care benefits. Clients are considered by booking a free 20 minute Discovery Call with our Intake Coordinator.

FEES: $249 for 1 hour in kitchen session  CURRENT WAITLIST – please book a discovery call directly with Pam to learn more information.  

AGES: 11–19 years old

*Fall 2022 – ONLINE Family Matters Culinary CLASSES for teens & Parents will return again – stay tuned ! 

8 Week ONLINE WINTER 2023 Cooking course  

Looking for more than just an ordinary cooking class ?  Start anytime!  Our pilot winter 2022 online classes were a big success and so we will be bringing them back after enjoying the warmth of the summer months outdoors.  Stay tuned for our winter 2023 dates to be announced later this fall.  These will be available worldwide for your family to engage together! Here’s what to expect in the meantime and you can reserve custom online CORPORATE CLASSES or Family Reunion/Birthdays/Celebrations are available (min $1500 spend for 50 video feeds).  

Not only will your teen learn to cook a variety of seasonal dishes using locally-sourced ingredients in our 1.5 hour weekly class but now parents can join in as a ‘sous chef’ and learn a few things yourself!  Time spent together in the kitchen    

On Tuesdays 4-5:30pm, our online Fundamentals  cooking class will focus on learning the  fundamentals of knife skills, using heat to create flavour, wet & dry cooking techniques, basic sauce making and how to use what is at hand in the kitchen to reduce food waste.  Above all, teens will build confidence, make new friends and experience how food brings us together while improving both our physical & mental health. 

In this new rotating 8 week course you can now START ANYTIME and run for the 8 week cycle of classes until you’ve taken them all!  Menus will focus on using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and developing the skill of cooking without needing to even have a recipe.  Spring menus include Thai Cashew Chicken Stir Fry, Canadian Shepherd’s Pie, Mac & Cheese, Mexican Fajitas, Pot Pies, Chicken Penne Alfredo, Chicken Slauvaki with Lemon Rice and a variety of Quiche.   Please note:  Substitutions during COVID may occur due to ongoing supply chain and delivery issues that we are unable to control.    

Want to give Junior Chef classes as a gift?

Buy Gift Cards Here

Help support the Junior Chef Bursary™ program

Donate Today!

Have questions about Junior Chef programs?

Junior Chef FAQs