Young Chefs Academy Reveals Carefully Crafted Recipe for National Franchise Expansion

Nationally-Acclaimed Kids Cooking Schools Blend Education, Entertainment and Endless Discovery

May 19, 2015 // // WACO, Texas - Young Chefs Academy is changing the face of America’s foodie frenzy.

The country’s leading kids cooking school, which has captivated the creativity of children across U.S. communities for more than a decade, announced today a strategic national growth strategy. Answering the unmistakable call among parents and their kids for more time together in the kitchen, the bold plan pinpoints neighborhoods coast to coast for new Young Chefs Academy locations.

“We’ve wanted to time this announcement for just the right moment, and it has arrived. The next star chef may very well be your own child or grandchild,” said Julie Burleson, the founder and CEO of Young Chefs Academy, whose son’s eager entrance into the family kitchen back in 2003 inspired a dramatic ‘aha’ moment that led to the creation of the business. “Everything is in place for us to answer a culinary craving across America.”

The launch of the franchising strategy has already been met with an extremely positive response. New locations are planned for Kansas City, Kansas and San Antonio, in addition to two new franchisees in place in the Atlanta market.

Moreover, Young Chefs Academy is hosting a series of Discovery Day events at its Waco headquarters throughout the weeks ahead for several interested franchisee groups from around the country. Plans are on track for 10 to 15 new locations to be in development and open by the end of 2015. There are currently locations in nine international markets and future openings are on the horizon.

Buzz and excitement surrounding Young Chefs Academy’s growth continues as the company invigorates its franchising program with the addition of two new key executives who are also equity partners. Roger Schmidt, an icon of the franchise industry, joins Burleson in guiding the company’s growth. Schmidt, now in the role of president, is renowned for his successes on several levels of franchising, including as the in-house attorney who guided the fastest growing franchise in U.S. history; and, who was one of the final editors on the recently completed first textbook on franchising.

Additionally, Kevin Ayers, also a renowned franchise attorney and a proven development leader, is in a key role with the company serving as vice president and general counsel.

The cumulative experience of these high-profile executives has already lifted the concept’s franchisee resources and support to new heights. Young Chefs Academy is now situated in its new training center and headquarters which includes state-of-the-art kitchen and classroom space for training and education classes.

“With Roger and Kevin in place, and our new facilities, the possibilities are immense for us,” added Burleson. “The entire nation will now truly see how much fun it is for kids to discover their potential in and out of the kitchen.”

Students also benefit from opportunities connected to influential media partners, such as Food Network Magazine and Parenting Magazine. Young Chefs Academy has hosted nationally-recognized programs in conjunction with these and other partners, reaching both kids and adults across the nation with cooking tips and events to bring families together in the kitchen.

Likewise, several Young Chefs Academy kids have also made national television appearances on programs, including Dr. Oz and FOX’s MasterChef® Junior competition. The cooking school even offers a three-year MasterChef® cooking class where students complete monthly challenges and earn accolades marking their progress towards learning techniques needed for a lifetime of cooking.

The curriculum at Young Chefs Academy is updated regularly with fresh monthly themes and exciting new programs with a strong focus on building culinary skills. Events and classes are fueled by the mantra, “mise en place,” which translates to “everything in its place.” Whether a child is 3 years old discovering the kitchen in a Kinder Cooks class, or 18 and mastering concepts in the Senior Chefs group, there is a place and a lesson for every student to explore and grow through cooking. Each location also hosts birthdays and events for groups just looking for a taste of the Young Chefs experience.

About Young Chefs Academy

Founded in 2003, Young Chefs Academy is one part culinary adventure, one part culinary education, and it’s all for kids. Here, learning invaluable life lessons (shhh... they don’t even know it’s happening) occurs through a cooking curriculum that evokes curiosity, which provides kids a pathway to personal discovery and creativity, all in a warm, welcoming and inspiring movement.

Young Chefs Academy provides driven entrepreneurs the opportunity to join an American movement that is here to stay. Complete with a celebrated curriculum, extensive marketing, operations and real estate support, Young Chefs Academy is on a course for nationwide U.S. expansion. Currently, the company has more than 20 locations open or in development throughout ten states.

For more information about Young Chefs Academy, visit To inquire about franchising opportunities, visit

SOURCE Young Chefs Academy


Jackson Lewis
All Points Public Relations
(847) 897-7497


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Founded in 2003, Young Chefs Academy is one part culinary adventure, one part culinary education, and it's all for kids.


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