The Best Online Cooking Classes, According to People Who’ve Taken Them

If your palette prefers Spanish cuisine, Dan Pashman, the host of The Sporkful podcast, recommends taking this paella-making class led by chef Tania Lopez. He actually doesn’t call it a cooking class, “but more an interactive experience.” That’s because, in addition to the cooking lesson, you also get “a flamenco concert,” according to Pashman, who assures this entertainment does not dilute the lesson’s culinary wisdom. “She knows the cuisine inside and out and her passion for the food is contagious,” he says of Lopez.




How a Puerto-Rican Entrepreneur Learned to Adapt and Thrive During the Pandemic

Small business owners face an array of endless challenges ranging from money management to customer retention – issues that have heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tania Lopez, a NYC-based microentrepreneur, is no stranger to the difficulties of operating a small business. In 2013, Tania approached the City Bar Justice Center’s Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP) as she sought assistance with her newly founded business, Coqui the Chef, a business driven by a social mission to teach the importance of food culture and eating healthy through in-person cooking classes and community events.


Coqui the Chef to Shift to a Mix of Online & Offline Spanish Culinary Classes in September as New York’s Covid Restrictions Loosen

Press Release June 4th, 2021

Chef Tania Lopez and the team at Coqui the Chef had to make the shift to all online classes for their Spanish cooking classes in the face of the pandemic. September will see live in-person instruction returning following all of the city’s health and safety rules. 

“When we saw this challenge we wanted to help spread positivity as much as possible,” commented Chef Lopez. “From our online classes, to revamping our website and messaging, to offering Authentic Paella products, so great paella could be more easily made at home, this was all part of our new mission to ‘Make Food your Passport’. We wanted people to feel that they can have a cultural experience in their home with family and friends. And feedback has told us this has been a big success.”


Manhattan College, Bronx chef offer online cooking courses, kits

12 November 2020

Manhattan College is teaming up with a local chef to change the way kids learn online.
The pandemic has forced so many things to go virtual, including the tutoring program for kindergarten through 12th-graders at Manhattan College.
The school knew that with everything online, students may feel burnt out. That’s how the idea for an online cooking class with Coqui the Chef was born.
“It is not just a cooking class, it has a little bit of everything, so I try to incorporate not only food, but music, culture,” says Tania Lopez, CEO and founder and chef educator at Coqui the Chef.


Promoting Healthy Eating to Urban Kids With Help From Coqui the Chef

University July 2018

Rutgers public health expert Christopher Ackerman teams up with a frog puppet to improve nutrition education in the South Bronx


Coqui the Chef, creator Tania Lopez Educates Kids About Healthy Snacks

Aug 15, 2015

Lopez had a difficult childhood that was marked by malnutrition and illness. She was asthmatic and anemic, and spent a great deal of time at hospitals due to her condition. Also, because her parents constantly worked, they didn’t have time to offer her the right nutrition, and she wasn’t well taken care of.

Giving Kids a Lasting Connection to Food in the South Bronx

September 17, 2015

In just one minute, 1 Minute Meal—an award-winning micro-documentary series about the effort of cooks and diners to keep unique New York food culture alive, despite passing trends—takes us behind the scenes of a children’s cooking school, Coqui the Chef, in New York City’s South Bronx neighborhood. Bronx resident Tania Lopez founded the program in an effort to help kids in underserved communities establish a lasting, vibrant, and hands-on relationship with food.

Coqui The Chef - A BAM! Mascots Success Story

Dec 16, 2015

When Tania Lopez started her journey promoting healthy eating and nutrition to children and families in the Bronx, she had no idea it would take her on such a fabulous adventure.


Coqui the Chef’s ‘Summer Cooking Camp for Kids’

July 18, 2015

Children are ‘hopping’ with excitement as they learn how to prepare meals from a giant talking frog.

Osborn Elliott Awards for Community Service to five remarkable New Yorkers whose neighborhood improvement projects address serious local issues

February 23, 2015

Coqui the Chef provides nutrition and culinary education for South Bronx youth and their parents. Partnering with local community organizations, the group offers lessons on good nutrition and how to prepare healthy snacks. The program teaches the basics of food preparation in order to enable healthy eating choices and combat the high levels of obesity in the community.


1 Minute Meal: “Locally Grown”


Tania Lopez, a Bronx resident who wanted to break the cycle of poor nutrition in her own family, founded Coqui the Chef Cooking School to give children a lasting connection to food.

As she and chef instructor Chris Ackerman hustle to expand their after-school program to more underserved communities in the South Bronx, Lopez pauses to describe how her work is making a direct impact on the students who attend. Learn more about Coqui the Chef at


Citizens Committee for New York City Coqui the Chef invited to speak at "Citizens Summer Cocktail Fundraiser"

May 2014

New Yorkers like Tania Lopez and future Iron Chef stars Aidan, Elias and Ethan realize their own dreams for their own neighborhoods. You help them bring their vision of a better community to life. We are so grateful!


What Not to Wear Show

Aug 2013

Single mom and business owner, Tania frequently wears a frog costume out in public to help promote her growing catering company. Can Stacy and Clinton help this aspiring entrepreneur step out from behind the costume, and into a sophisticated new style?

WPIX 11 New York: Coqui the Chef interview with Lisa Mateo

Aug 2013

Single mom and business owner, Tania frequently wears a frog costume out in public to help promote her growing catering company. Can Stacy and Clinton help this aspiring entrepreneur step out from behind the costume, and into a sophisticated new style?


Aprender a comer sano en las calles de El Bronx

February 11, 2012

Nueva York – Tania López no renuncia a la idea de comerse un buen pernil puertorriqueño, pero para ella y su familia eso es un lujo que se dan pocas veces como un premio por mantener una dieta sana.


Coqui the Chef, frog mascot who will hop in Puerto Rican Day Parade, tells kids to eat right

May 24, 2011

Coqui the Chef, a cuddly green mascot whose true identity is South Bronx mom Tania Lopez, encourages sound nutrition to combat diabetes and obesity.

Bronx Woman Wears Frog Costume To Get Puerto Ricans To Eat Right

May 24, 2011

The mascot is the creation of South Bronx mom Tania Lopez, who wears the costume named after the endangered Puerto Rican frog. Lopez spent some time in Puerto Rico in her 20s, learning to cook from scratch, but when she returned to NYC she found herself eating disgusting fast food again.

Who is Coqui The Chef?

January 30, 2011

Growing up Puerto Rican, I grew to appreciate our love affair with food. The way we were raised in my family and community, meant that the first thing you would ask someone coming over to visit was, “What would you like to eat?” or “Did you eat something?” Somehow we knew that eating led to conversation, bonding, and sharing time with family and friends.

National Puerto Rican Day Parade 2011