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Kids in Cooking Class Whip Up Pupusas for Astoria Restaurant Special

ASTORIA — Order the pupusas and guacamole at Pachanga Patterson in Astoria this week, and your meal could help inspire a new generation of pint-sized chefs.

The restaurant is partnering with Allergic to Salad, a local organization that offers free cooking classes for children ages 5-12 in an effort to get kids to connect more with their food.

Every month, Allergic to Salad hosts a kid-friendly cooking class at Panchanga Patterson or its sister restaurant, Vesta Trattoria and Wine Bar. Whatever dish that gets whipped up by the class stays on the menu for the next week as a part of a dine-in fundraiser for the group.

On Saturday, a group of kids worked with Pachanga Pattersons' chefs to make pupusas — thick tortillas from El Salvador made from cornmeal — topped with homemade guacamole, pinto beans and cheese.

The dish will be offered as an appetizer at the restaurant through Friday, with all proceeds going to Allergic to Salad to fund more cooking classes.

Allergic to Salad founder Stacey Ornstein said her students are tough food critics, but gave the pupusas a glowing review.

"The verdict on these: 'Really yummy...but not as good as pancakes,' Ornstein said one student decreed.

"We did have a full class of plates-cleaned and requests for seconds by all," she said.

Allergic to Salad's next kids cooking class will be the last Saturday in May at Vesta Trattoria in Astoria. Visit the group's website to register, or for more information.