Rene Teaches Healthy Food Fun at Bambino Chef
What do you do?
I am the Founder/Creative Director – aka Chief Bambino Chef – at Bambino Chef, a cooking studio for children and families. We concentrate on healthy, creative and fun cooking.
We are the primary provider of the Healthy Cooking after school program, we offer cooking classes at the studio for ages 2.5 yrs -15 yrs, cooking summer and holiday camps, cooking birthday parties, special events, girl scout and boy scouts events and more delicious cooking related programs.
Who do you do it for?
We do it for all children! We have students who are eager to learn all about cooking techniques, we have some that are looking to for a fun healthy cooking that is kid friendly, we have some that love science and math and like to experiments with ingredients and measurements. We also have fantastic students who have never cooked before and ready to try something different... the list goes on and on!
We also have parents that would like to see their children be more adventurous with their food and learn to have fun eating healthier.
Why do you do it?
teaching the magic of healthy cooking to children
I am very passionate about cooking real food, all from scratch and teaching the magic of healthy cooking to children. Children are so creative and curious and it is amazing to see how fully involved they get into the cooking process. My goal is to teach our Bambino Chefs that healthy cooking can be delicious, simple, kid friendly, budget friendly AND lunchbox friendly. I want them to have a blast cooking with us but also to learn that cooking is not just a hobby, it is truly a life skill that can lead to a healthy and successful future. During the process you can see their personalities shine.
How did you start?
My cooking journey goes back to cooking with my mother, grandma and aunts as a little girl. I loved helping my mom in the kitchen, I loved the learning process, how my mom patiently explained the role of ingredients, techniques to make certain dishes and also the room she gave me to be creative, to make up my own dishes or how to easily follow instructions.
I left a high paying career to pursue Bambino Chef. Decisions like this require lots of passion and love and I can’t say enough the joy it brings me to cook with children, to make their special days even brighter, to be part of a beautiful community and hopefully make a change and have an impact.
What makes it unique?
we think outside of the box
We do it all, from cooking savory dishes and baking desserts. But what make us different is we think outside of the box when it comes to recipes. We like to combine ingredients that you typically won’t see together in one dish, we take traditional dishes and put our healthy fun twist on them, we introduce children to cook with many unfamiliar grains and spices, and we keep it very international! Some of the yumminess we have created here – quinoa coco muffins, millet and kale salad, red bean scones with flaxseed, broccoli garlic empanadas.
A major factor that influences a lot of what's Bambino Chef is about is the fact that I always think as a mom. I have my own children and we always cook together, try new foods, have a blast creating something scrumptious.
What do you love about it?
We absolutely love seeing our Bambino Chefs happy with their culinary creations! We get beyond excited when we see our students try new foods or even better when they cook with vegetables or other ingredients they normally don’t like and at the end they eat and enjoy their food. It is an amazing feeling to hear how our students went home and worked with the recipes from our cooking class.
We love to see the sense of accomplishment and confidence in our students whether they are here for 1 session or 10 cooking classes. It is mesmerizing to see how children can bond in the kitchen while cooking together, make new friends, share stories and laughter while cooking and eating with us. It is incredibly satisfying to see how they demonstrate their healthy cooking idea and goals which makes them so proud of their work.
In addition to all of this we are able to give back to community in different ways: we host our Annual Lemonade Stand raising money for No Kid Hungry, we make sandwiches with children and distribute to local shelters. This year we are starting a new tradition, our holiday event which we hope to host annually as well, free pictures with Santa and toy/food drive.
How do you make learning awesome?
It's not a mess, it's creative thinking!
We make learning awesome by keeping it fun and creative! We don’t believe in making mistakes in the kitchen, it is all about learning and enjoying the cooking adventure. We have this fantastic rule: It is not a mess, it is creative thinking! When children are cooking with us we don’t want them to worry about spilled ingredients, or even dirty dishes. We just want them to fully emerge and have fun in cooking.
Anything else you’d like to share?
We have tons of delicious events and cooking classes planned for next year. Stay tuned on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and our website of course.