City Programs

Students in the The Sylvia Center’s New York City programs learn to take an active role in their daily diet through hands-on experiences with fresh, whole foods.

Youth, teen and family participants try new fruits and vegetables, develop new skills, and learn to prepare simple, delicious, affordable meals. Our programs underscore the importance of healthy eating and thus inspire students to become food advocates for themselves and their communities.


During our six-week cycles, students learn basic cooking techniques (chopping, grating, whisking, kneading, rolling) as well as skills essential for any good cook: kitchen safety, flavor profiles and creative combining, planning and strategizing, and teamwork. Each class culminates with students and instructors sitting together to enjoy the meal they have created.


Young Chefs Culinary Program

In the Young Chefs Program (ages 7-12) students learn basic cooking skills including knife skills, sautéing, roasting, and the basics of baking. The curriculum focuses on seasonal ingredients, and the importance of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains. During each session, our chef instructors teach young cooks how to prepare two dishes—one savory and one sweet—affordable, healthy, easily replicable recipes with seasonal ingredients.


Teen Chef: Skills for Life Culinary Program

The Skills for Life Program (ages 13-18) focuses on and how to cook fresh, simple plant based meals from scratch and provides a basic professional culinary foundation. Students learn how to set up a work station, the code of rules chefs have in the kitchen, how to handle a knife, and how to handle fresh produce. The curriculum focuses on ways to make favorite foods healthier, how to maximize time and money when cooking, and how to work together as a team.


Cooking Together: Family Cooking Program

The Cooking Together Program focuses on cost effective, practical, and healthy recipes while providing a wonderful opportunity for families to cook and eat a meal together. The children are Young Chef Program graduates and are able to share their culinary expertise with their families during class. Participants learn time and cost saving techniques, such as batch cooking, as well as ways to incorporate more vegetables into family-friendly meals.


Young Women’s Culinary Internship

The Sylvia Center’s Young Women’s Culinary Internship (YWCI) program provides employment and leadership development for outstanding young women from the Bronx who aspire to careers in food, health and social justice. YWCI provides stipends to employ young women as Chef Assistants in TSC’s Cooks for Health cooking classes, as well as mentoring and enrichment activities. Through their work as teaching assistants and interns, the selected YWCI interns directly benefit the health of youth in their own communities.


Click the following link to review a sample of our curriculum including several of our seasonal recipes and detailed lesson plans for kids, 7-12 years old and teens, 13-18 years old.

Sylvia Center Sample Curricula – Kids and Teens


For more information, please contact Whitney Reuling at or (212) 337-6057.


“I used to only let Asyiah help me with baking, but he showed us the other day how to use the knife and use your bear claw. He’s learned so much over the summer. Now, I can have him help me in the kitchen.”

Mom of Asyiah, age 9


Chef Hollie helping whip cream