Founder and Big Cheese of The Creative Kitchen
Cricket Azima is a dynamic professional chef who specializes in cooking for and with children. Cricket works with a variety of food companies, offering a range of services, including spokesperson work, recipe development and testing, freelance writing, teaching, family outreach, blogging (as part of the Cooking Light Blogger’s Connection), creating webisodes, special events, and consulting. She has worked with Whole Foods Market, Foodnetwork.com, Organic Valley, Happy Family, and General Mills, to name a few. Cricket’s children’s cookbook, Everybody Eats Lunch, was published by Glitterati Inc., in May, 2008. In 2014, Cricket’s classroom cooking curricula, Everybody Can Cook, was published by DRL Books.
Since 1999, Cricket has been teaching cooking classes to children of all ages at various locations in New York City. Cricket wrote her master’s thesis on the benefits of teaching cooking to children, which led her to launch The Creative Kitchen in 2003. The Creative Kitchen hosts hands-on children cooking classes and events at venues such as schools, Whole Foods Market, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy’s. In addition, the company produces family food events for corporate functions, movie premiers, and other such large-scale activations.
Cricket is a one of a kind instructor. She strives to teach more than just a recipe or basic cooking technique, with a teaching philosophy that is based on the educational benefits of cooking. Cricket believes that cooking is a multi-faceted learning opportunity. Her method of food education is designed to inspire children to learn and express themselves creatively in the kitchen classroom, while reinforcing traditional learning disciplines. With this in mind, her classes incorporate a wide range of subjects: history, geography, math, reading, social studies, nutrition, science, foreign language, and art all find a place in her kitchen.
Drawing on these food education philosophies, Cricket developed Everybody Can Cook, a comprehensive children’s cooking curricula and teaching program. The book’s unique format provides turnkey lesson plans, featuring tips and tools to integrate traditional school subjects, and includes adaptations for various physical and developmental abilities, dietary needs, ages, and environments.
In 2012, Cricket founded the Kids Food Festival, a celebration to educate families on how to make balanced food choices. The annual weekend of events serves as an effort to prevent childhood obesity through fun programming and entertainment for the whole family. The Kids Food Festival partners with the James Beard Foundation, the American Heart Association, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.
Cricket acted as a contributor to iVillage, an online content-driven community for women. Cricket advised as the Family and Children’s Editor for The Nibble, an online magazine about specialty foods. She served as the Food Editor of KIWI Magazine, a family magazine focused on healthy and organic living, and was also the Director of Kids’ Programs for Kidfresh, an innovative company in New York City offering all natural, freshly prepared foods for kids.
Cricket is a graduate of Boston University (BA in Communications), New York University (MA in Food Studies & Food Management), and Peter Kump’s New York Culinary School (now, The Institute of Culinary Education, where she received her professional culinary degree). Following graduation, she served as a professor of food studies and an academic advisor at NYU. Cricket is a member of the Board of the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Committee and the NYC Autism Charter School.