Kyra Effren first showed an interest in food when at the age of 4 she dug up the tulip bulbs in her parents’ London garden and ate them thinking they were onions.
She grew up in England and South Africa nurtured by Welsh and Russian Jewish grandmothers, a German Housekeeper, an Irish Nanny and a Cape Malay cook who loved Italian food - all formidable cooks.
She thought everyone ate Roast Beef on Sunday – Hotpot on Monday – Homemade Ravioli on Tuesday – Leberknodel on Wednesday – Bobotie on Thursday and Chopped Herring and Matzah Ball Soup on Friday.
Upon emigrating to her newly adopted country and without any formal training she taught cooking to friends, to raise money for the kitchen in the new Synagogue in Santa Barbara – and finally found her ‘mission’
Eight years later while living in England, she attended the Cordon Bleu and actually learned How to Cook
She opened Cours de Cuisine Cooking School in Dallas in 1975 and has been up to her elbows in food ever since.
Kyra served as a food stylist for and contributed articles to the Food Section of the Dallas Morning News for 10 years. She has edited three community cookbooks –two immediately out of print and thus ‘collector’s items,’ and to her great surprise her school was once featured in Redbook magazine. In 1978 she was awarded The Commanderie des Cordon Bleu in France for her ‘contributions to French cooking’. This award comes with a very large medal and an ornate certificate “suitable for framing.”
Kyra taught healthy cooking for Operation Frontline for 11 years in Dallas, then partnered with Sharan Goldstein to develop Food+Fit=FUN for NCJW which program has been recognized with a number of Awards and Grants
She also serves as recipe tester for cookbook authors and occasionally still contributes articles for the Dallas Morning News Food Section and when not occupied with preserving heirloom recipes, or offering unsolicited cooking advice to perfect strangers, or trying to get people to eat vegetables, she continues her quest to ‘feed the world’
Her current passion is developing healthy [and hopefully] delicious - recipes using what is available to JFS Food Pantry clients.