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 hands-on culinary nutrition education efforts under FamilyCook Productions have reached over 300,000 parents and children through program licensing and instructor training. In 2013, Fredericks became a Co-Investigator for a NIH-funded research project in New York City with Einstein College of Medicine and HealthCorps to address adolescent obesity. She has presented more than 30 scientific abstracts of original research on FamilyCook program efficacy at professional, obesity and nutrition-focused professional conferences. She is the 2018 Chair for the Food & Nutrition Section of the American Public Health Association, and a leader in the Children’s Division of the Society of Nutrition Education & Behavior. A founding Executive Board member of The Food Systems Network NYC, she was the founder of Les Dames d’Escoffier’s Green Tables Initiative and a former Board Director of the National Gardening Association. Under Fredericks’ leadership, FamilyCook Productions was named 2017 Public Health Leader of the Year by the New York State Public Health Association.
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.
Yana Zeltser, Program Associate
Yana is responsible for client relations, outreach, and keeping the daily business operations running smoothly.
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…