NOTE: SINCE I WROTE THIS ARTICLE, THEY’VE MOVED FROM CRESSKILL TO ENGLEWOOD. SEE CHANGES BELOW.
One thing I love about living in North Jersey are all the creative and entrepreneurial moms I come across through playdates and meetup groups. One person I met recently that I knew I had to follow up with was Rama Ginde of Wanna Bee Chef in Englewood, NJ. Food is a national obsession–and healthy eating is making a resurgence (just check out Jamie Oliver’s new show!).
Rama wears many hats in her business, catering to so many different needs in the community. She does event catering, weeknight meal catering for families, birthday parties for kids and adults, Mommy and Me cooking classes, and an after school program. This summer there will be a summer camp as well!
The cute store in Englewood also turns into a Cafe on Mondays thru Fridays from 11am to 1:30pm. She uses fresh, organic ingredients so you don’t have to worry about an upset stomach after this meal! I could eat the whole menu–it sounds so delicious. one sandwich sounded especially good: Fig, sweet fig chutney, prosciutto, arugula, goat cheese on sourdough bread ($8.50). Great place to try for a playdate!
There is street parking (free, no meters!) and seven spots behind the store in a lot. One Mommy and Me class is on June 14th from 3:15-4:15 and promises to be finger licking good! BBQ chicken, corn on the cob and baked beans are on the menu and your 3-6 yr old will love cooking together with you!
The space inside is bright and lovingly decorated–my kids kept saying we were visiting my friend’s “house.” It truly has a homey feel and Rama will be adding a nice wooden table in the front for a more communal and earthy feel to her cafe.
It’s the perfect spot for a birthday party and she has menus for the 3-6yr set ($30/child) or the 7-16 yr olds ($35/child). The party includes paper goods, beverages, balloon decorations, cooking and eating, and special present for the birthday child. You can have 5 to 20 kids at the party (be sure to include your child in the count). For $42/child each guest gets a goodie bag, too!
I just loved the themes, especially the Tea Party for the younger set. It includes flower cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, homemade jelly, strawberry napoleon, and mini cupcake with topping bar. Lastly, they get chocolate milk in teacups! For the older set, she has a Kiku party (sushi and salad) and a Royal China party (homemade wontons and lo mein) that look super fun and delicious!
Rama has great credentials–she trained at the Culinary Institute of America and The French Culinary Institute, and is a Holistic Health Counselor. She has also cooked at Jean Gorges, Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, and was a manager at the Hyatt Hotels.
We have a world class chef right here in North Jersey, so take advantage! She’s a mom, too, so she’ll understand if your kids go a little crazy (as mine did!).
More info on her awesome site: www.wannabeechef.com