Meet The Team
Renana has been a cooking instructor for the past 15 years. She has also been a preschool teacher in a Montessori school in Brooklyn and in a preschool in Westchester. She brings with her the understanding of child development and the creative methods of educating young children. Food education has become a passion and mission for Renana. Talking with children about making healthier choices for meals and snacks, as they become older and more independent, should be a constant process. Children should be engaged in food preparation from start to finish; from bare ingredients to a finished product. In her lessons, Renana focuses on healthy and delicious ingredients, and familiarizes students with simple and natural ways of satisfying their appetite. Renana offers private or group lessons at home, after school programs, workshops for parents and teachers as well as birthday parties to children of all ages. In addition, she develops cooking curricula for schools and camps. In Spring of 2016 Renana opened the gates to her own kitchen at Fiddleheads Cooking Studio in Westchester, NY. Presently, Renana and the Fiddleheads team teach at Crawford Mansion, Chappaqua Community Center, Harrison Rec Center, Bedford Community House, Pound Ridge Rec Center, and a select schools in Westchetser and Fairfield Counties.
Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN is a nationally recognized nutrition expert with a focus on culinary nutrition and communications. Jessica’s passion lies in the kitchen, where she develops nutritious and delicious recipes to feed her family and to inspire others to do the same. Jessica frequently lends her culinary expertise and practical eating tips to lifestyle magazines and websites. She is also a contributing writer for various magazines and websites and has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio segments. Jessica provides Kitchen Coaching services for families, including pantry makeovers, family meal planning tutorials, and cooking lessons. Jessica received a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, both from New York University. She lives in Westchester with her husband and twin daughters.
SUZANNE KARMER PERRY
Suzanne has always had a passion for cooking and she now has over 15 years’ experience in the culinary arts. She graduated from The French Culinary Institute in NYC (now The International Culinary Institute) and has worked in a variety of settings ranging from catering at Abigail Kirsh and Balducci‘s to working at smaller food establishments. She is currently a personal chef for multiple clients. Suzanne’s focus has always been centered around making delicious and healthy foods. She has utilized those skills to design menus for elite establishments such as the Rockland Country Day School and Breezemont Day Camp. Her concept was so popular at Breezemont that she was asked to redesign and run the specialty cooking program for all ages. Suzanne is thrilled to be a part of the Fiddlehead family! When she is not cooking, she is busy raising her 2 boys with her husband. She also has 2 cuddly but finicky Maine Coon cats.
Nancy is a Chappaqua resident with her husband, Barrett, for over 29 years. She raised two children, Casey and Jake, here, who are fantastic and passionate cooks and bakers and most of their conversations and communication revolve around their favorite recipes and their love of good food. Nancy is currently a personal chef and long time caterer, and has worked in the school district teaching kids in the after school enrichment program and at Chappaqua Children’s Workshop. She also taught cooking for a few summers at Wagon Road Camp, which is a wonderful community locale, where she still works in their team building program. Nancy also is on the board of the Chappaqua Farmers Market, as well as on the Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program, two organizations which have changed lives and made a huge impact on so many residents in town. Nancy Is happy to be a part of the Fiddleheads team and continue to share her knowledge and love for good food with kids and their families.
Nafiseh grew up and was educated in London, England. She holds a Master's degree in Economics. She began her career in finance in the USA. After a successful career as a Bond Trader, she left the finance industry to follow her passion for working with children. She founded the Kids Sports League in the Washington, DC, area, the first of its kind at its inception. The league offered 12 sports to children between the ages of 3 and 12. During the league's 15 years, the league managed 2500 children in multiple sports activities each year. Kids Sports League's work with children was recognized by The Washington Post and Maryland Youth Organizations. Her contribution to the Special Olympics and Smile Train received high regard. As her children grew up, she created a business focused on food and wine to follow her long-time love of culinary arts and Viniculture. She has attended L’Atelier de Chefs, Cuisine Coup de Coeur, Ritz Escoffier, and Lenotre. Nafiseh’s training includes menu design and planning and viniculture The "foodandwinebynafi" company offered corporate team-building sessions and corporate catering. Nafiseh established an impressive list of clients such as the World Bank and the Suburban Hospital, as well as many other organizations in the Washington, DC, area. Foodandwinebynafi offered award-winning classes and camps to children ages 5-15 as well as adult cooking classes. She is a new resident of Westchester County and has been working with young adults and school-age children as an education advisor in a volunteer capacity.
Andrea is a recent graduate of Pace University’s Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics program, with a concentration in Culinary Nutrition. She is currently studying to take her credentialing exam, where she’ll earn her Registered Dietitian Nutritionist certification. Food has always been a passion of Andrea’s as her family brought her up to value sharing meals and cherishing memories made in the kitchen. Coupled with this, she was introduced to gardening at a young age, and became enthralled with organic, sustainable farming and gardening practices as it relates to nutrition. Throughout her 6 years of nutrition schooling, Andrea has gained vast experiences interning and working with farm to table restaurants, teaching kitchens, government assistance programs for low income families, organic flower farms, and more! She loves working with children, and spent a great deal of her time in graduate school researching, designing, and distributing a free cook book for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Julia is a graduate of Hamilton College and of the professional culinary program at the International Culinary Center. She started her career teaching elementary school at Greenwich Country Day School before pursuing her love of food professionally. Since then, she has worked at Martha Stewart Living as Chef Emeril Lagasse’s Brand Manager, in the test kitchen of Saveur Magazine as a recipe tester, in the kitchen of Sunday Suppers as the Head of Culinary Development, and has consulted for professional chefs and television hosts on Food Network and the Cooking Channel. She now does ongoing photography and recipe development projects for various food brands, works as a private chef, and teaches cooking classes. She is thrilled to be a part of the team at Fiddleheads Cooking Studio, where she combines her experiences in both elementary education and professional cooking.