Recent Letter....

Every once in a while a teacher comes along that changes the course of a child’s life. Julie Negrin was such a teacher for my daughter, Elena. Every Monday, for just under 2 hours, Julie would take a small class of girls and transform them into chefs.

Until my daughter entered Julie’s cooking class for “tweens”, Elena existed mainly on standard children’s food, with as few real nutrients as possible. That all changed after her cooking sessions with Julie. While making such delicious foods as vegetarian sushi, fresh marinara sauce, mini-lemon pound cakes, bruchetta, vegetarian dumplings with fresh dipping sauce, calzones, among others, she learned the power of vegetables and fresh herbs and clean, fresh ingredients. She saw herself as a creative cook who could not only replicate these dishes but could create new ones herself. She started to cook at home and asked if she could make a meal one night a week. And most incredibly, her own food choices shifted as she started to see vegetables and fruits, not as the enemy, but the ingredients necessary to prepare meals like Julie’s - delicious, healthy meals.

I saw this shift in my 10 year old daughter happen within weeks of taking Julie’s class. Julie creates this beautiful world in her classes where kids learn that the kitchen is not only a place to cook but a great place to laugh and have fun and connect to people. Along the way, they learn important technical lessons such as knife skills and safety in the kitchen.

Julie has an amazing rapport with children—she never dumbs anything down for them and the dishes she makes are always good for the entire family. She is exceedingly calm but at the same time, funny and interesting to kids. This was undoubtedly the best class I have ever discovered for Elena.

Judith Levy, parent