Lynn Fredericks, Founder
Lynn Fredericks is the founder of FamilyCook Productions and an award-winning pioneer in the field of obesity prevention and family nutrition. She is the author of Cooking Time Is Family Time (Morrow 1999) and Get Your Family Eating Right! (Fair Winds Press 2013). Since 1995, the educational efforts under FamilyCook Productions have reached over 200,000 parents and children. Fredericks' work in New York City public schools won her a 2002 Leadership Award from the New York City Council of Administrators. In 2001, she was presented with a PRIDE award for her contributions to family nutrition education in the NYC public school community. In 2006, Gourmet magazine saluted FamilyCook’s efforts to bring cooking skills to inner-city families. A leading advocate for hands-on food/nutrition education for all, Fredericks is a popular lecturer, televisionpersonality, and cooking demonstrator.
In 2013, Fredericks became a Co-Investigator for a NIH-funded research project in New York City with Einstein College of Medicine and HealthCorps. In this role she will assist the team to build on the Teen Battle Chef leadership development successes to disseminate evidence-based strategies through a range of youth-led activities that build skills for new, healthier behaviors. Fredericks herself takes on leadership roles in several national organizations including the Food & Nutrition Section of the American Public Health Association, Society of Nutrition Education & Behavior, and The Food Systems Network NYC. She was the founding chair of Les Dames d’Escoffier’s Green Tables Initiative and a former Board Director of the National Gardening Association. In 2014, she conceived of a national campaign that FamilyCook is launching with support from a wide array of nutrition and health experts, leaders and organizations. Kids Food Reboot: Serving Our Children Better is a dynamic campaign with a positive message for parents and provides educational resources and connects parents with leading restaurants who are ‘rebooting’ kids food - nationwide. Fredericks has served as spokesperson for brands such as Barilla Pasta, Tupperware, Reynolds® Oven Bags, and The National Pasta Association Fredericks and FamilyCook Productions’ programs have been featured on national television shows including NBC’s Today, Cooking Live, and the Food Network’s Chopped, as well as numerous local radio and television programs across the U.S. She resides in New York City.
Mercedes Sanchez, MS, RD, Director of Nutrition Education
Mercedes Sanchez has been FamilyCook's resident dietician for over ten years. Her appreciation for celebratory meals prepared and enjoyed with family and friends hails back to her childhood as the youngest of 9 siblings in a robust family of Madrid, Spain. Today she is a registered dietician specializing in pediatrics and family nutrition, Mercedes grounds the FamilyCook nutritional messages, educational materials, curriculum and approach in the values around the social and educational aspects of family meals. A mother of two young children herself, Sofia and David, Ms. Sanchez understands the challenges that working parents face to navigate a social environment that tempts adults and children alike to take the easy way out and buy fast or prepared foods. Ms. Sanchez wrote her masters thesis while at NYU on the value of a multicultural approach to teaching children about nutrition. Her thesis was excerpted for inclusion in an Italian journal on taste, Questione di Gusti, in 2006. In addition to holding a Masters in Nutrition from NYU, she is a registered dietician and has served in that capacity in the pediatric department of Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn.
Paige McCurdy-Flynn, Administrative Coordinator & Educational Program Associate
Paige joins FamilyCook Productions as Administrative Coordinator and Educational Program Associate. Responsible for client relations, teacher and student training and keeping the daily business operations running smoothly. Paige is enthusiastic about helping FamilyCook Productions expands its reach. She has a culinary degree from the International Culinary Institute and has worked in the food industry for eleven years in roles as a food stylist, restaurant general manager, to owning her own cookie company. If she's not at her desk, you can find Paige in the office kitchen, whipping up one of Lynn's delicious recipes!
Please contact Paige at paige@familycookproductions with general questions about FamilyCook Productions' programs, program costs, upcoming trainings or to schedule a meeting with other staff.
David Bartolomi, Youth Development Associate
David Bartolomi brings over 20 years of professional youth advocacy, culinary and photography experience to his role as the Youth Development Associate at FamilyCook Productions. As a Teen Battle Chef instructor at the Urban Assembly School of Music & Art in Brooklyn David infuses his classes with his personal references stemming from a rich family line of Italian chefs and bakers. He brings a passion and knowledge of food that is ideally suited to the ‘can do’ and celebratory philosophy of the Teen Battle Chef program. In addition, he is a professional freelance photographer having his first photo published in Vogue Magazine. He believes all youth can succeed in any chosen field with the skills FamilyCook programs helps build: confidence, a strong imagination and self-sufficiency. David has a BA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and studied Social Work at Hunter College.
Joel Allette, Teen Battle Chef Alumni & Internship Mentor
Joel Allette joined TBC as a HealthCorps student at James Baldwin High School in Manhattan. When he first joined he was highly interested in cooking and idolized such chefs as Emeril Lagasse, Michael Symon, Bobby Flay, and many other chefs of that caliber. After he graduated from the Teen Battle Chef program he went on to the Teen Battle Chef Leadership program and earned an internship at the Sylvia teaching younger children to cook. Within that year, he went on to win the 4Food “Veggiescoop” Recipe Competition. This led to his own recipe for Chinese Braised Kale on the 4Food Fall menu. As a TBC leader, Joel has hosted a number of Teen Battle Chef Competitions, Healthcorps events, and Whole Food Recipe Showdowns. His passion for TBC and the culinary arts is so strong that he was invited for a second TBC internship, at Jimmy's No. 43 in Lower Manhattan. In less than a month he became the Brunch Chef for the restaurant. It was such accomplishments and talents that resulted in a strong audition for Food Network's Chopped. He was accepted as a contestant for their first Teen Episode, and he contended for the grand prize on national television at the age of 18. Joel is also a music artist, and writes and performs his own music, and strives for a dream he’s always wanted. But Joel is equally loyal to his FamilyCook family and is now a Teen Battle Chef Alumni. This summer Joel is a Teen Battle Chef Summer Internship Brigade Mentor/Supervisor. Joel continues to represent what it means to be a leader, and is a role model to his community and his family, and has even started his own Private Chef/Catering Company, JGS Cuisine. Always looking for the best in himself, and challenging the best in others, Joel works hard every day to make us at FamilyCook Productions proud. We surely are…
Danielle O'Connell, Health Counselor
Danielle O’Connell joins Family Cook as a health counselor, Pilates and yoga teacher, mom and someone who loves to cook and eat. She studied nutrition and exercise physiology at Ithaca College, and in 2004 graduated from Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She loves helping people find ways to be healthier and feel great through food and healthy lifestyle changes. She loves running, reading, cooking and shopping at farmers markets. Her favorite foods change from week to week but right now her favorite foods are whipped raw honey and roasted sweet potatoes. She blogs about food, health and exercise on her website www.urbanwellness.com.