Calling all kids ages 5-16 who want to hone their cooking skills, learn about global cuisines and eat their daily creations and stay close to home this summer! Chef Rama Ginde, the 29 year old CIA trained chef, certified Holistic Health Counselor and owner of WannaBee Chef in Cresskill, Bergen’s leading cooking studio, is hosting an open house with facility tour, “healthy lunch” cooking demo and complimentary lunch on Saturday June 2nd, 2012 from 2-3pm and Friday June 8th, 2012 from 4-5pm. Campers who are signed up on those days receive 10% on enrollment. RSVP required: [email protected]. WannaBee Chef is located at 18 Union Avenue in Cresskill.
This may be just the ticket for kids who are budding foodies or those who don’t like a traditional day camp with requisite sports and lake swimming. Kids learn their way around the kitchen and cover everything from smart menu planning to the value of farm-to-table cooking (most of the ingredients are organic or locally sourced) and the importance of portion control. The kids cooking camps (visit for more info.) are available in half and full day sessions and run from July 9th through mid-August. Children are grouped by age. WannaBee Chef’s kids summer camp combines hands on cooking basics, in depth looks at cultural cuisines from around the world, healthy portion sizes and nutrition IQ raising discussions, delicious meal preparation and daily lunches and field trips to learn about healthy food shopping, organic farming and menu planning. Campers also enjoy weekly pilates instruction from Jumping Frog Pilates in Tenafly.
The 4 year old cooking studio run by Chef Rama has become very popular for corporate renditions of Chopped and Iron Chef and hosts several bridal showers and Girls Night Out BYO cooking instruction programs, both private and public, each month. It is perhaps best known for its Mommy and Me and Kids cooking classes. WannaBee Chef also offers dining in or take out farm-to-table food and recently debuted its 500 calorie “Bee” bento boxes, complete nutrition meals in a convenient box.
Chef Rama, of Indian descent, grew up in Puerto Rico, where she developed a strong passion for cooking from her mother, who exposed her to her native Indian food, Latin cuisine and other types of cuisines. After moving to Bergen county at age 17, Chef Rama went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America and then took a restaurant management course at the French Culinary Institute. She later became certified as a Holistic Health Counselor from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and Columbia University’s Teachers College. Chef Rama’s culinary training also includes work as a cook at Jean Georges, a supervisor at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon and an assistant manager at Hyatt Group of Hotels.
Heidi Raker Goldstein is our Bergen county regional editor. A locavore, cooking enthusiast, publicist and mother of three junior gourmands, Heidi is equally comfy in greasy spoons and high-end restaurants. When not visiting local farmers markets and farm stands in Bergen and Rockland counties, this New England native, former Manhattanite and Bergen county resident is busy running her PR and green marketing agency, Raker Goldstein & Co., buying food, planning menus, cooking food, writing about food or simply eating. To reach Heidi, email her at[email protected].