A Five Senses Philosophy: Cooking Classes that Engage Children through a Sensory Experience
Introducing the Farm-to-Table Movement to the Littlest Eaters
Fiddleheads Cooking Studio has been transforming children’s attitudes towards food through its unique approach to cooking education and kitchen science since 2016. With a mission of “growing the next generation of food explorers,” the studio is differentiated by a belief that children of all ages can be joyful participants in the kitchen. Having enjoyed success in Pound Ridge, Fiddleheads is moving to a new, expanded studio in Mt. Kisco in March 2019. Located off Armonk Road, the studio is easily accessible to Armonk, Bedford, Chappaqua and Mt. Kisco residents, while still retaining the quality of a remote, rustic farm. The studio offers after-school programming, birthday parties, mini camps and private in-home instruction for both children and adults.
With over ten years of experience as a cooking instructor, owner Renana Shvil explains her philosophy saying, “Talking with children about making healthier choices for meals and snacks should be a constant, engaging process. From getting acquainted to the bare ingredients to enjoying the finished product, each activity represents a learning opportunity.” Fiddleheads Cooking Studio is the result of that vision, born by melding Renana’s passion for food education with her background as a preschool instructor.
During lessons, Renana guides students through an exploration of healthy, delicious seasonal ingredients. Children discuss the items laid before them and are encouraged to touch, smell and taste everything. As they work together to create the dish, students learn how to use kitchen tools safely as they take turns measuring and mixing.
There is no down time and as dishes cook, Renana engages students in a lively, interactive conversation about how food grows, who grows it, and how it got to the kitchen. This is accomplished in each class, either through story time, an art project, gardening activity or feeding Fiddleheads’ own chickens. The class culminates with the group eating the final product as a community as they share their feelings and thoughts about flavor and texture.
To celebrate the launch of the new studio location, Fiddleheads will host a special series of $1 March classes leading up to the official launch of the spring term in April. To learn more and view the full schedule, visit fiddleheadscookingstudio.com.
Fiddleheads, owned by Renana Shvil, is a child-focused space offering personalized cooking lessons to children ages 18 months to 16 years old since 2016. Exploring ingredients with all five senses, learning about where food comes from and the kitchen science is a focus of each class. Older participants are taught basic techniques and more complicated methods to build confidence and independence in the kitchen. Fiddleheads instructors teach at the workshop, private homes, after-school programs and birthday parties.