Taste Buds Kitchen specializes in fresh and unique cooking events. Our mission is to be the top culinary entertainment experience for kids and families by engaging and delighting our budding chefs in the kitchen.
What began as a few holiday baking classes and cupcake making birthday parties, under the name Cupcake Kids!, quickly evolved into much more. Our culinary adventures now include an ever-growing variety of classes, parties, camps and special events that combine a well-balanced mix of engaging recipes, both savory and sweet, as we take to the kitchen to sprout taste buds and a good time.
We’ve grown from a team of one to over twenty culinary professionals excited to bring cooking adventures to our clients. We support kids, families and food and strive to create a lifestyle around connecting, learning and growing in the culinary playgroup of the kitchen. Be sure to visit our Kitchen Studio in Chelsea and check our out retail outpost at the Flagship FAO Schwarz.
Taste Buds Kitchen is proclaimed the “Best Kids Cooking Class” by New York Magazine and featured as the must try activity by CBS, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, The New York Times, Hampton Magazine and more.
Meet Our Management Team
Jessi Walter Brelsford, Founder & Chief Bud
Jessi Walter Brelsford is a dynamic professional who loves combining her passions for kids, food, business and start-ups at Taste Buds Kitchen. Formerly a Vice President at Bear Stearns and graduate of Harvard University, where she was a Division I Swimmer. As one of 23 first cousins, Jessi has a passion for kids and their development. In her previous life as a swimmer, Jessi started a company offering technique lessons for young swimmers and brought the same enthusiasm and fundamentals to the pool as she brings to the kitchen. Since weekly Gourmet Nights with her mom and sister growing up, Jessi has developed a true passion and expertise in culinary adventures and is excited to bring these experiences to the kids and families of New York City. When not at Taste Buds Kitchen, you can find her at home enjoying her husbands culinary talents or out exploring the many wonderful restaurants and hot chocolate spots that New York City has to offer. Jessi is available to be a spokesperson, TV personality, and recipe developer. Be sure to check out “The Cupcake Club” series for tweens, her first book series as a recipe developer with Carrie & Sheryl Berk.
Jeff Brelsford, Chief Operating Officer & Building Bud
In 2013, Jeff Brelsford joined the TBK team to launch and manage our Franchise Business. Jeff’s background is focused in architecture, construction & real estate in New York City. With a Masters in Architecture, Jeff began his career designing and building residential buildings in Manhattan. An MBA from NYU in Real Estate and Finance brought Jeff to the commercial side of the industry where he served as the in-house architect for a NYC real estate company. Managing all aspects of architectural design and working directly with the construction department Jeff assisted in the re-branding and re-launching of the division as a Design/Build company. After years on the ownership side of the NYC real estate market Jeff re-immersed himself into the world of architecture, taking a management role in a small commercial architecture firm. In this position, Jeff managed the day to day operations of the firm. Jeff brings to Taste Buds Kitchen his vast knowledge in the area of design and construction as well as years of experience in real estate and operations management. And of course he loves to cook, especially for Jessi!
Nicole Bassis, Managing Bud & Executive Chef
Native New Yorker, Nicole grew up around trendy ingredients and flavors, her favorite food memory was at the age of 7 eating Paella in a West Village restaurant where she insisted on seeing the kitchen and meeting the chef! Paella to this day remains Nicole’s comfort food! Nicole spent every summer until the age of 16 with her mothers side of the family in Finland, where she learned the importance of sustainable food – digging potatoes from the dirt and foraging for mushrooms, watching her grandma – a professional baker for over 40 years pull loaves of bread out of a wood burning brick oven, always planning the next big feast because “everyday brings new hunger.” Graduating from The Institute of Culinary Education with a degree in Culinary Arts, Nicole knew instantly she wanted to work with children and teach cooking. Nicole most recently took a hiatus from NYC moving to a ski town in the Catskills to manage a Bed & Breakfast where she created gourmet 3-course breakfasts with locally sourced ingredients. Nicole has been entertaining kids through cooking at Taste Buds Kitchen for over 3 years and loves that everyday is a new food adventure in the kitchen! When Nicole is not testing delicious new recipes at TBK she enjoys eating out at the new “it” restaurant in the city, vineyard hopping on the North Fork or camping by a fire pit in the Catskills (with a full bag of marshmallows of course!)
Jaymie Bellous, Booking Bud
When Jaymie was ten years old, his mother decided that it was time for him to start making his own lunches to take with him to school. This began his lifelong love of food and cooking. Jaymie comes to Taste Buds Kitchen from Los Angeles, CA, where he worked as a theatrical producer and director. He most recently assisted with The Transport Group on their critically acclaimed revival of I Remember Mama and has produced and directed a number of productions throughout Southern California, including O, Fallen One for the Hollywood Fringe Festival, Woyzeck, Eurydice, and Falsettoland. Being the Booking Bud for Taste Buds Kitchen combines his fondness for great food with his passion for putting on a production, from curtain up to lights down. When not at Taste Buds Kitchen, Jaymie can be found enjoying the wide variety of cultural offerings in New York City, from big Broadway musicals to experimental art installations.