The Merry Kitchen is the brainchild of Julie Merry. Julie got her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia and soon became a Registered Dietitian. While attending GSU, she switched her focus to the culinary aspects of nutrition. During college, she worked as a nanny for four children and discovered they had never been taught to cook. Julie took the opportunity to explore cooking with them. After seeing the excitement on the children’s faces, she recognized her dream – teaching children to cook.
She moved to Portland, Oregon in the fall of 1999 and attended Western Culinary Institute. After graduating with honors, she cooked at a local restaurant and led the catering team for Elephants Deli. After gaining experience in a restaurant kitchen, she pursued teaching with the Western Culinary weekend program. She also volunteered at Sur la Table in the teaching classroom. After helping out for a few months, she was hired to teach the children’s cooking classes at Sur la Table. Her first class was such a success, she was asked to teach the Kid’s Cooking Camps that summer.
After two successful years with Sur la Table, Julie was then hired by Portland Public Schools to lead the after school cooking program at Fernwood Middle School. While teaching at Fernwood, she realized her ultimate dream. It was to have a cooking school out of her home, teaching teenagers and children of all ages to cook.
Ever since that realization, Julie has remodeled an adorable house she found in NE Portland in the Cully neighborhood, minutes from the Alberta Arts District and downtown Vancouver, Washington. While planning out the school, she decided that children should be learning how to grow the food they were going to be cooking. In 2008, she completed the Master Gardener program taught by OSU Extension Services. She has been cultivating a 500 square foot garden in her backyard and during summer camps, teaches children how to grow, maintain and reap the benefits of an all organic garden. Compost is made and utilized from the scraps of each cooking class.
All children's classes are $35 and generally run two hours, except for younger kids and summer camps. We make all meals from scratch, eat at the end and kids take home recipes. On the calendar of classes page, click on a class that interests you and it will take you to another page where the menu is and where you can sign up online.
Julie teaches private lessons, which is great for quick learning, special diets, etc. Cost for each child is $75 per 2-hour class. Cost for a private class for two children is $125. Parent/child classes are also offered privately and the cost for one child/one adult is $130. Price per person goes down with additional children. Please call or email to schedule.
The Merry Kitchen also does private parties, birthday parties, or special themes not listed on this website. These need to be if scheduled at least a week out. Please direct inquiries to Julie Merry by phone: 503.946.8357, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Merry Kitchen is located at 5202 NE 72nd Ave, Portland 97218. Please call for an appointment. No drop ins.