Getting kids interested in food seems to be a growing trend, with articles about parents taking their kids to fine dining restaurants or enrolling them in kids’ cooking classes popping up in publications right across North America, with opinion split on whether it’s a positive development.
But once kids hit their teenage years, dining out at restaurants is something that can not only be an enjoyable way to socialize, but a great way to learn about new foods and new cultures.
For the past few weeks, and continuing into early May, kids in grades 7 and 8 from Parkdale Public School have joined members of the arts collective Mammalian Diving Reflex for a series of dinners in restaurants in Parkdale and along Queen Street West called Eat the Street. Part performance art happening and part a lesson in food, culture and etiquette, the kids have the opportunity to act as restaurant reviewers, critiquing the food, service, and atmosphere of a space that is more than likely foreign to them. The idea is to watch how the kids interact with the restaurant and how the restaurant, including staff and other patrons, interact with them.