Daniela Ben-Zion and Dana Ravner
How your clients refer to you:
Daniela… “the cooking teacher” (or “banilla” as one of my younger students called me before he could pronounce my name correctly)
Dana… “the cooking lady”
Kulinary Kids NYC
email: email@example.com; website: www.kulinarykidsnyc.com
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
Our background in education and our love for food and entertaining were the initial inspiration for Kulinary Kids NYC. We wanted to offer cooking experiences to young children as we were having fun cooking in our own kitchens with our young sons.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
What has set Kulinary Kids NYC apart from other children’s cooking classes is that we have always cooked in children’s homes. The structure of our classes is the epitome of the home/school connection. All of our classes are held in the homes of our students. When children have the chance to cook and “break bread” with their friends in their own home, it adds an extra level of excitement and empowerment to the activity.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
We have always come to our classes from an educational perspective as well as a culinary perspective. We have created different curricula that offer children something more than just a cooking class. Some of them include “Eating Around the World” which allows them to explore flavors of different cultures and “Cooking the Alphabet” which lets them create food from A to Z. The wonderful “word of mouth” referral from our clients is a definite plus too. Parents take advice from each other and all of our classes are built from the positive feedback and “PR’ that parents share.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
Healthy eating can be challenging for parents with young children. We all try to start our children off on the right foot with food and nutrition. By having the children help make what they will be eating, we have seen tons of “picky eaters” become “proud eaters” of new foods. We have seen children try foods (especially vegetables) that their parents never imagined they would eat. And by sharing our weekly recipes with our clients, we give them the opportunity to reintroduce those new foods at home again and again. We live in a world where many children have food allergies and dietary restrictions. We are able to accommodate these challenges and go beyond by offering the option of a children’s cooking class to families who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Watching the faces of our students when they work with new kitchen tools like “Gary the Grater”, “Charlie the Chopper” and “Marty the Masher” and seeing the smile appear on their face when they taste what they have created. We also love hearing from parents about how excited their children are to cook with us each week.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
Josh Capon’s Burger and Barrel restaurant is a tried and true NYC spot. They have a wonderful drink selection and many delicious food options for the whole family to enjoy. The chicken lollipops are a must, and who doesn’t love a yummy mac & cheese or burger. And let us not forget to mention their music playlist which is awesome every time and keeps us singing along as we enjoy our eats!
How do you benefit mamas?
We try to take the battle out of food and eating by making the process a fun experience from start to finish.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
A few years ago, we got a frantic email from a mom who was at the Union Square Farmer’s Market with her daughter. They had walked by a table full of fresh kale and the child insisted on purchasing a bunch to make kale chips at home “like the ones in cooking class.” The mother was so surprised that her child knew what kale was and overjoyed that she wanted to eat it. She had to have the recipe right away so that she could replicate it at home. We sent it over and later that night, she sent us a picture of her child in the kitchen enjoying the homemade kale chips!
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
We love Catherine McCord, the Queen of Weelicious. She is a mother of three who still manages to find time to get creative in the kitchen and prepare fantastic, healthy meals for her family. Her website and cookbooks have been the inspiration for many of the meals that we make at home .
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
“If You Don’t Try, You Don’t Know” (we like to teach that to all of our students when it comes to tasting new foods too)
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Plan ahead. Dinner prep in the morning is key. We always try to plan ahead so that we can have a healthy and delicious dinner on the table and still enjoy some quality time with our children at the end of a busy day.
We are very excited to be offering children’s cooking classes in the Hamptons for the first time this summer. To find out more about our Summer Session of our Fall Session which begins in September, you can email us at: