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Spoonfoolery Creative Cooking & Baking Demonstration/Teaching Kitchen and Event Space Now Open
Mamata Reddy | Spoonfoolery |
September 7, 2018

Evanston, Ill.— September 7, 2018 — Spoonfoolery Creative Cooking & Baking, a demonstration and teaching kitchen, and special event space, is now open in Evanston’s West End.

“We are offering young people in the area the opportunity to learn how to cook and bake at home and to have fun doing it,” said Mamata Reddy, owner and executive director of Spoonfoolery. A classically trained pastry chef, Mamata (pronounced MA-ma-tuh, accent on the first syllable) has been teaching extracurricular culinary classes to young people ages 3 to 18 in the after-school setting for eight years.

She honed these skills at the Gary Comer Youth Center (GCYC) on Chicago’s South Side. GCYC included a full-service professional kitchen with classroom space for 12, a one-third-acre rooftop garden, and a 2.5-acre urban farm. By taking horticulture and gardening classes, students in grades 3 through 12 learned not only about the origins of their food, but also how to read recipes, cut and measure ingredients, maintain cleanliness standards, and make and serve three-course meals. Mamata aims to bring a similar educational environment to Evanston-area families through parent-tot, after-school, and single-event classes.


The Growing Importance of Food Education and Healthy Eating in Young People

“The number of cooking shows on television that target this age group is proof that children want to learn about food,” Mamata said. “Young people can learn so much through an exercise in the kitchen: reading a recipe, measuring ingredients, working with a partner to complete tasks, sharing and caring for equipment, and most importantly, learning how to make something totally from scratch.”

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) reported that teaching children to cook enhances fine motor skills, helps develop mathematical skills, aids in learning the concept of sequencing, grows vocabulary and understanding of new and different terms, and exposes young palates to new and exciting flavors.

“I have a very picky eater at home,” Mamata said, “but when my son joins me in the kitchen and is a part of the cooking or baking process, he’s more likely to try it.” Mamata recalled the first time she made kale chips with her students at GCYC. “They were a bit freaked out by the bumpy texture of dinosaur kale, and even tried some raw leaves and declared them pretty gross,” she said. But once the recipe took them through chopping and seasoning the leafy greens, then baking them at a high temperature to perfect crispness, the students couldn’t get enough of them.

“This was a bumper crop of kale we grew in our campus garden,” Mamata said, “but there wasn’t a flake to be found after these kids were done!” This understanding and appreciation for healthy eating is what Mamata intends to offer at Spoonfoolery. “We’ll be teaching multi-step recipes that take students through doughs and toppings to batters and frostings, as well as learning to make old-time favorites like macaroni and cheese from scratch instead of a box,” she said.


Spoonfoolery Offerings and Availability

Spoonfoolery can accommodate classes of up to 16 students and special events up to 40 guests. Class age groups are ages 3-5 (parent-tot, with parent or guardian present at all times), 5-10 (after-school, drop-off), and 11-14 (after-school, drop-off). Birthday parties and field trips are for any age group and include a cooking lesson for up to 16 guests. Spoonfoolery can also host bridal showers and corporate events such as team-building workshops. Custom-made cakes and three-course party menus are also available as add-ons.

The kitchen is also used for production of Spoonfoolery’s unique line of jams and sauces, with flavors such as chai apple butter, ginger cardamom pear butter, caramel apple jam, and honey whiskey barbecue sauce. Spoonfoolery will also be working with local food establishments to provide items for their in-house menus. Additionally, Mamata is an experienced writer, editor, and food photographer, and maintains a food blog where she shares the ins, outs, whys, and why nots of cooking, dining, gardening, and entertaining.

Chef Mamata Reddy is a local Evanston mother of a preschooler and toddler, as well as two middle-aged, very spoiled dogs. (Homemade dog biscuits, anyone?) She and her husband Michael Herbst moved here in 2010 and knew Evanston would eventually be the perfect home for Spoonfoolery. Mamata is a graduate of the French Pastry School in downtown Chicago, and holds bachelor’s degrees in Magazine Journalism and Philosophy from the University of Missouri at Columbia, as well as a master’s degree in Media Communication from Webster University in St. Louis. Prior to attending pastry school, Mamata worked as a writer and editor in higher-education publishing and financial news research and reporting. After completing her certification in pastry arts in 2005, she worked as the pastry supervisor at the United Center, cranking out the sweet treats for games, concerts, and special events. But it was the position a few years later at GCYC that led her to becoming a culinary educator. She has loved teaching as much as she has enjoyed her own extensive learning process. Mamata hopes you can come cook, learn, and GROW with her at Spoonfoolery!


Spoonfoolery™ is a registered trademark. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

PR Contact Name: Mamata Reddy, Owner and Executive Director

Phone: (847) 313-0864

Email: hello@spoonfoolery.com

Address: 2113 Greenleaf, #4 Evanston, IL 60202

For more information:

Web: spoonfoolery.com

Instagram: @spoonfoolery

Facebook: Spoonfoolery