Evanston resident opens teaching kitchen for children’s cooking lessons, events

Spoonfoolery+Creative+Cooking+%26+Baking%2C+located+at+2113+Greenleaf+St.+The+demonstration+and+teaching+kitchen+opened+Sept.+7+and+offers+cooking+lessons+for+children%2C+includes+after-school+care+and+hosts+events.+
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Evanston resident opens teaching kitchen for children’s cooking lessons, events

Spoonfoolery Creative Cooking & Baking, located at 2113 Greenleaf St. The demonstration and teaching kitchen opened Sept. 7 and offers cooking lessons for children, includes after-school care and hosts events.

Spoonfoolery Creative Cooking & Baking, located at 2113 Greenleaf St. The demonstration and teaching kitchen opened Sept. 7 and offers cooking lessons for children, includes after-school care and hosts events.

Noah Frick-Alofs/Daily Senior Staffer

Spoonfoolery Creative Cooking & Baking, located at 2113 Greenleaf St. The demonstration and teaching kitchen opened Sept. 7 and offers cooking lessons for children, includes after-school care and hosts events.

Noah Frick-Alofs/Daily Senior Staffer

Noah Frick-Alofs/Daily Senior Staffer

Spoonfoolery Creative Cooking & Baking, located at 2113 Greenleaf St. The demonstration and teaching kitchen opened Sept. 7 and offers cooking lessons for children, includes after-school care and hosts events.

Samantha Handler, Copy Chief

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When Mamata Reddy started thinking about opening her own kitchen, she knew she wanted its name to reflect how children cook.

“One of the things that’s a lot of fun is how crazy the kids get in the kitchen, the ideas they come up with,” Reddy said. “(It) just kind of reminded me of tomfoolery, that whole expression. I just want the place to be a fun place.”

So, she launched Spoonfoolery Creative Cooking & Baking, a new demonstration and teaching kitchen that opened Sept. 7 on 2113 Greenleaf St.

The kitchen primarily serves as a place where children can learn to cook and where parents can send them for after-school care. There are classes for children from ages 3 to 14 as well as options to host birthday parties, corporate events and bridal showers, according to a Sept. 7 news release.

Reddy, who has been an Evanston resident since 2010, was a traveling culinary educator for eight years. She said she wanted to open the business in Evanston since her children are about to start school in the area.

“I just really want to be able to teach and share and create and be a part of the Evanston community as a parent and educator,” Reddy said.

Her children also served as inspiration for Spoonfoolery: Reddy’s son, a picky eater, is always more willing to try new foods if he helps her make them in the kitchen. Reddy is hoping the kitchen will expose kids to new flavors and help them appreciate healthy eating.

According to the news release, Reddy also previously worked at the Gary Comer Youth Center in Chicago, where she taught students in grades 3 through 12. The center had a garden where students could take horticulture and gardening classes, and Reddy said she wants to bring a similar farm-to-table experience to Spoonfoolery.

Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd), whose ward includes Spoonfoolery, said he is excited for the business.

“I think it’s going to be a great complement to the other businesses and services our town offers,” he said.

Reddy added that children coming to Spoonfoolery also learn math and reading skills. She cited a report by the National Association of Education for Young Children which says cooking and making grocery lists can help further a child’s development in those areas.

Reddy said she hopes her students take the skills they learn in her after-school programs to their kitchens at home.

“Today, with families as busy as they are and kids doing as many activities as they are, one of the things that brings families together is cooking,” Reddy said, “and cooking together.”

Email: samanthahandler2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @sn_handler

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