Our founder and CEO, Chef Shai Mandel, professional chef and certified teacher, has put her teaching training to good use through the development of our innovative virtual academy.

In listening to our families and taking note of their challenges, wants and needs in today’s climate, Chef Shai has developed these programs with YOU in mind.

Whether you have chosen to homeschool and are looking for a day time program that helps supplement your child’s school curriculum, are simply looking for a fun and engaging way to keep your children busy after school or are exploring a way to incorporate programming on the weekends, Rooks to Cooks has just the program for you. 

At Rooks to Cooks, we emphasize delivering only the best high value programs. As such class sizes are small to permit optimal interaction with the chef and your child’s peers.

In the pursuit of promoting independence, self-sufficiency and encouraging our students to take an active role in supporting the family unit, all programs will include prep time! Simply pull out all the necessary ingredients and equipment prior to class, and your child will be ready to get cooking.

Founder & CEO Chef Shai Mandel

Bachelor of Kinesiology, Wilfrid Laurier University
Bachelor of Education, Wilfrid Laurier University
Chef Training Certificate, George Brown College

 Virtual Cooking Class Structure  


  • All of our virtual programs are offered through Zoom where attendees will have the opportunity to learn from our professional Chefs and interact with their peers in a live virtual classroom.
  • Recipes and set up instructions will be sent shortly following registration so you have ample time to arrange the materials and get organized for your class. Don’t fret, all recipes have been selected and designed to require common household cooking tools, easy to access ingredients AND accommodate various substitutions. 
  • ONLY 8 STUDENTS to permit optimal interaction with the Chef and your child’s peers.
  • Class time includes prep time! Simply pull out all the necessary ingredients and equipment prior to class, and your child will be ready to get cooking.
  • To ensure our programs are inclusive to all dietary needs and allergies, nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and egg-free substitutions have been proactively listed for all recipes when possible. If you have a conflict not listed, no worries, please reach out and we will find a way to accommodate.
  • All savoury recipes yield 4 servings making these classes optimal for family meal prep!

Virtual Class Testimonials

“My daughter A is having a blast. She Looks forward to every week and the one day a week is super manageable for us to get the ingredients from the store. So we are definitely spreading the word to our friends and neighbours.”

– Fay A.

 “Thank you so much for your responsiveness in creating and sharing the consolidated shopping list… SOOO helpful. Today was V’s first day of virtual cooking class and she was a little nervous about what to expect… but I’m happy to say she LOVED IT! The ‘getting ready’ instructions were excellent, we had everything measured out and she was able to participate in the class with very little need for parental support. She felt very proud of her results and the baking has already been eaten by her parents, and shared with neighbours and friends. Well done and keep up the great work!”

 Jenny R. 

My boys had a fantastic time baking last week.  I thought the virtual program was very well organized and simple to follow.   Baking is so much easier than I thought!  Although it took a little more planning from me, the boys truly enjoyed making all of the dishes and they especially loved the coconut macaroons, the challah bread and the chocolate moist cake.  What I also loved is that the camp kept the boys busy all afternoon, which meant that they were not on their phones!  It helped to build their confidence in the kitchen and showed them the importance of organization as well as patience!

 – Liane T. 

Dear Chef Shai, I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful experience you and Chef Helen have given K. She is constantly telling me that she is fine, doesn’t need my help and is a real chef now. She is looking forward to continuing with her learning from Rooks to Cooks virtually this summer”

– Sheva O

A very cool thing I’ve noticed from the virtual baking classes is that ‘S’ has become much more independent in our own kitchen.  She has been in cooking/baking camps for 4 summers now but I think being in her own kitchen using her own equipment has made a huge difference.

 – Candice H. 

NEW! Our virtual classes have now been divided up by skill level: Rooks OR Cooks.

Rooks” refers to children who are “rookies” and new to cooking; and “Cooks” refers to children with previous cooking experience and skills who want to take their skills to the next level.

Our Rooks students will focus on getting the basics down, building their foundation of knowledge and skill as they cook through the recipes at a slower pace while building one’s confidence in and out of the kitchen. Our Rooks group is well suited for beginners of any age. 

Our Cooks students will focus on building on their current foundation of knowledge and skill, cooking through the recipes at a faster pace than in the Rooks group making room for slightly more challenging renditions of the same recipes. With the basics down, our Cooks group will learn the “why’s” behind the cooking processes, expand their knowledge, build even more skills, and have a blast in the process. Our Cooks group is well suited for passionate youth and teens up to age 16. 

Please use the description table to the right to help you decipher which skill level is best for your child. If you require any assistance, please feel free to email us at 


Our virtual programs are divided into 3 categories depending on the learning goals and skill level of the participants: 

  1. Rooks to Cooks Virtual Academy – Rooks (1 x week classes, month long commitment)
  2. Rooks to Cooks Virtual Academy – Cooks (1 x week classes, month long commitment)
  3. Rooks to Cooks Drop In Classes (Pick and choose which classes you would like to attend) 

*To view the course schedules, please select the category below that best suites your child 

  • Recommended for children, teens and families
  • Drop in schedule
  • Classes are 1.5 – 2 hours long as frequently as you would like