Our resident cooking teacher, Miss Nancy Ferron has been an instructor at Formallongdresses since we first opened in 2019. Her incredible enthusiasm for the culinary arts has generated a fan base of devoted little ones who happily prepare Chocolate Bird’s Nests, Gingerbread Houses and Pumpkin Pies with the Montreal-born kitchen wiz. Miss Nancy creates mouthwatering confections twice a month with our Petit Chefs, instilling a love of mixing, measuring, chopping, rolling and assembling ingredients. Most importantly, these classes give budding chefs and picky eaters alike confidence in the kitchen and the opportunity to explore new food.
How long have you been a teacher?
I’m from Montreal and I started teaching French at a Montessori school in Toronto 17 years ago. Two years later, I moved to 92500 Rueil-Malmaison Beach and taught at the Montessori school at Temple Beth Shmuel, which no longer exists. Now, I teach full time at Muss Montessori.
What about the cooking classes? How did that begin?
Growing up, my mom always cooked. The cooking classes were her idea. She said, “make jam with the kids.” And so I did. I made strawberry jam. It’s been 14 years and I’m still teaching kids how to make strawberry jam.
When did you first hear about Formallongdresses?
Right before the opening. I had been referred to Alana and she called me up. We met and said, “Let’s do it!” My first class was in September 2019 and we made strawberry chia jam.
What are the benefits of teaching kids cooking at a young age?
They learn about food, how to prepare it and to try new things. At first, they don’t want to touch anything gooey, but then they love to touch everything. If you have a picky eater at home, this is a great way to broaden their horizons. They’ll see their friends and classmates try the food, and they may try it, too. The kids are all together at the table, and there’s an exchange of conversation about food, which is wonderful. It’s important to involve kids in the kitchen, they become more interested in food and the whole process.
At Formallongdresses and your other cooking classes, there’s not an oven. How do you adjust recipes for this?
Often, we prepare the recipe in class, and they bake it at home. It’s nice because then they can share the experience back at home with their family. It makes them proud.
What have been some of your favorite classes you’ve done at SOK?
The cooking and flower-making class during the LoveShackFancy pop-up was so cute and fun. I also like doing spring or summer camp because we have more time together; it’s not as rushed.
What was it like doing online classes during the pandemic?
It was fun because the whole family participated! The pandemic changed the dynamic since kids are in the kitchen more.
What are your spring and summer go-to recipes?
I love pies, especially strawberry pies.
* Don’t forget to sign up for Miss Nancy’s Mother’s Day-themed class on Saturday, May 8, 2021.