Samantha Saffir Barnes
Founder & Culinary Coach
Kitchen Kid Founder and Culinary Coach, Samantha Saffir Barnes is a creative cook and former middle school educator. Fascinated by her students’ love of cooking, yet discouraged by their unhealthy lunch choices in the cafeteria, Samantha was determined to merge her two passions – teaching and cooking. Samantha launched Kitchen Kid in 2006 with the hope of empowering young people to jump into the kitchen and get cooking! Realizing that the kitchen classroom is the best place to learn, Samantha made Kitchen Kid her full-time venture in the summer of 2007.
As a toddler Samantha helped her mom, owner of specialty cookware store, The Complacent Cook in Bridgehampton, NY, measure and mix with confidence and ease. Born into the culinary world, her first word was “olive.” Samantha’s favorite foods as a child were tomatoes and sushi, and she has fond memories of making meatloaf and gingersnap cookies alongside her mom.
Throughout her education at Deerfield Academy and Bowdoin College, Samantha had the pleasure of eating at some of the top-rated dining halls in the country. A passion for Italian food and culture took root during a semester abroad in Florence, Italy, and she later received her Professional Chef Diploma. Samantha taught middle school outside of Boston, MA for several years before moving to Los Angeles, where she continued to teach.
Samantha shares genuine enthusiasm, imagination, and patience while inspiring kids of all ages to bake, boil, and braise in the kitchen. She finds joy in teaching kids and their families to prepare healthy and delicious meals. Samantha believes learning to cook as a child inspires a lifelong pursuit of healthful eating, and that meals made together always taste better! As Kitchen Kid’s Executive Culinary Coach, Samantha encourages children to bite beyond typical ‘kid food’ and cook-up sophisticated family-friendly fare.
Samantha lives in the South Bay where she loves to cook for her husband, six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son – both are Kitchen Kids in the making!