It’s Chicago North Shore Moms’ weekly Meet a Mom Series. We are so excited to introduce to you local mama chef of two beautiful children, Mila Furman. Mila is the Founder and Owner of Girl and the Kitchen, a private cheffing, catering and content creation company not to mention she is the recipe developer, writer, photographer and chef of this delicious and inspiring company! Her thriving private chef and boutique catering company also specializes in servicing many homes on the North Shore. And Mila is a bit of a celebrity around these parts with appearances live TV like the June 20, 2019 appearance Windy City Live! Meet Mila!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I was actually born in Moldova.. a former republic of the USSR. I moved to the states when I was 7. My parents brought our entire life in six suitcases and a huge crate that was shipped to us. We promptly moved to Skokie and I lived there until I was 25 at which point I moved into a house with my then boyfriend (now husband) in Lake Zurich where we reside now.
Do you have child(ren) and what are their age(s)?
Yes, I have a girl who is 6.5 and a boy who is 2.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you
I was a dancer until I was 20. I competed in poms in high school and took ballet and hip hop. I worked as a dancer for a Bat Mitzvah Company on the North Shore, until I threw my back out and was advised to quit dance.
What is your favorite mom hack?
Putting in my bluetooth headphones and watching my iPad while I cook. I get to watch all my reality faves that way!
Favorite local place to take the kids?
The beach!!! Ive been taking my kids to beach resorts since they were babies!!! They are total water babes and they love the water!
Watching reality tv! I’m a total Bravo junkie!
Go-to cosmetic “tired eraser”?
Mascara! It always opens up my eyes! My new fav is Damn Girl! 24-Hour Mascara by Too Faced.
Favorite family movie?
The All the How to Train Your Dragon series, all three of ’em!
Favorite book for you?
So so many!!!! But the one that changed my life was Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain! I love him. RIP ☹
Favorite Children’s book?
All the Roald Dahl books! Just bought my daughter his whole collection!
A perfect day with the family is….
In the summer. Outside. Doing anything! Especially eating. Our favorite vacation spot is Jamaica and we are currently in Clearwater, FL and are loving it!
And speaking of eating, you’re a chef! Can you share with us one of your go-to recipes for the summer?
Why yes! I’m going to share with you all my Secret Ingredient Crockpot Pulled Pork. Tender, saucy AND healthy pulled pork made in one pot, over night, without much effort at all. Plus it’s freezer friendly! Click HERE for the printer friendly recipe as well as nutrition information.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
My in-laws and my husband. My in-laws are and were my nannies for both kids. And my hubby so wonderfully steps in whenever I have to work or when I am in need of a sick day.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Yes! I am a chef and I am my own business venture! I am the Founder and Owner of Girl and the Kitchen, a private cheffing, catering and content creation company! I also do tons of media appearances and work with brands on media content as well as recipe development. I was beyond thrilled to be featured on Windy City Live just last month! Additionally, I employ chefs who work all over the North Shore, Chicago and Naperville area for private cheffing and events. I am a tad busy.
Busy moms are my specialty. If we are not cooking for them I am teaching them how to make their weeknight recipes fun, fresh and simple. When you know just a few great techniques of the pro’s you are able to create dozens of incredible meals without even thinking about it! Want to be able to cook faster? Take a class from me or one of our chefs and see how we can make your life easy!
Do you have any tips for getting young children to expand their pallets?
Start them young. At six months old instead of giving my children oatmeal I was giving them all sorts of puréed soups, Russian, Italian, Jewish American, Thai – they ate it up! Both my two-year-old and my six-year-old have really great pallets because they were eating everything off of our table since they were babies. My son and my daughter would both eat caviar out of the spoon at nine months old, their choice not mine. The majority of the time when we sit down to dinner the kids are eating exactly what we are eating: Lots of roasted or grilled vegetables, grilled fish, meats and chicken. I believe that we need to treat our children’s pallets like we do ours’. If you show them that it’s fun to taste new foods they will jump on board! Get rid of the pantry staples like pasta, mac & cheese and store-bought marinara. Show them how fun it is to eat the same food as you do and don’t give them any other choices. It’s not easy but eventually the pay out is that your little ones have expanded pallets! Growing up when I was hungry I ate what my parents gave me.
What’s on the horizon with Girl in the Kitchen?
My goal is to be on the Food Network…I have four TV appearances under my belt already!!! Food Network is next so definitely stay tuned!
Keep up with Mila: Subscribe to Girl in the Kitchen and get fresh recipe delivered to your inbox! You can also follow everything on Facebook, Instagram and Mila’s Youtube Channel!