Renana Shvil brings a fresh, thoughtful approach to teaching children about food at her Pound Ridge-based Fiddleheads Cooking Studio. “I want children to know where food comes from and how much effort goes into cooking it,” she explains. Children are encouraged to use all their senses to explore ingredients while they learn to appreciate and respect food, and to make their own choices about what they like.
Instructor Renana Shvil works with students.
Claudia Pacifico and Mishel Hassidim.
“They’re proud of what they make even if they don’t like it. It’s okay. We’ll figure out what they do like,” she says.
A home-trained chef who has loved being in the kitchen since her youth in her native Israel, Shvil has a gentle, encouraging manner that recently had preschoolers enthusiastically shelling and tasting green chickpeas for hummus. Dishes this fall include shakshukah (a North African dish of poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce), zucchini and goat cheese crostini, pumpkin bread, and blue corn muffins.
The mother of three girls who enjoy cooking, Shvil uses seasonal produce and makes cooking fun. After making ramp snails — ramp pesto and cheese spread on puff pastry rolled and cut to look like snails — “we talked about bugs, went outside and looked for bugs, to tie it to the season and the outdoors.”
Classes at the cozy space, open since spring of 2016, are hands-on and developmentally appropriate. A single class or a series are available for preschoolers, school-age children and older. Also offered are classes at local libraries and farmers’ markets as well as family cooking classes, birthday parties, private lessons, and parent workshops.
Fiddleheads Cooking Studio
24 Westchester Ave, Pound Ridge
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