"They have a sense of community by cooking together," Park said. "We want to bring kids together culturally and socially through food."
The class incorporates recipes that are simple, multicultural dishes, such as enchiladas, Korean barbecue or ravioli.
"In Los Angles there are some very different cultural backgrounds, and I think the students like that there are lots of cultures here," Park said.
The class has instructors who speak a variety of languages, including Arabic, Armenian, French, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and Tagalog.
"We really reflect the population in the area," Park said.
Angela Hong, a seventh-grader at Toll Middle School, joined the class to help her family with food preparation, she said.
"I was interested in cooking," Angela said. "At home I don't know how to cook, and I want to help my mom with cooking."
Although she was most excited about chocolate-chip cookies, exploring different foods was something 12-year-old Toll Middle School student Lily Zierhut was interested in, she said.
"I like the feeling of making different foods," Lily said.
Instructors invite the children to mix bowls with a Kitchen-Aid mixer, taste test ingredients and practice cooking and cleaning skills. Participants follow the instructors through the kitchen to see how they can help.
Ramon Winkler, a 9-year-old Burbank resident and Victory Boulevard Elementary School student didn't want to join the class at first, but now he is happy to try out new foods, especially grilled chicken, he said.
"I just like to cook a lot," Ramon said.
In addition to creating dishes, Whole Foods Market Glendale donates healthy snacks with milk and juice for the children in each class.
The class costs $50 for each five-week session and meets for one hour. A materials fee of $25 is also added for the class materials and ingredients. There are 12 spaces available in each class.
To sign up a future chef or food connoisseur, visit http://www.ci.glendale.ca.us. Community members can also call the Glendale Adult Recreation Center, (818) 548-3778, or visit the community kitchen at the center, 201 E. Colorado St., Glendale.