• Tel: (212) 799-3894
  • Email: info@cfyl.org

Our Story

Our mission is to teach healthy cooking to people touched by cancer.

Cook For Your Life started in 2007 after founder, Ann Ogden, was in treatment for her second cancer diagnosis, triple negative breast cancer. Ann took a break from her successful career in fashion to focus on her treatment. Suddenly immersed in the world of hospitals and cancer treatment, she became aware of how little her chemo buddies knew about healthy food. Growing up with an Italian mother from a family of chefs and a father who was a Master Baker she was easily able to adapt recipes to help her cope with side effects and eat well even on the worst days. But for her treatment friends it was a different story. She started giving cooking tips and advice, which eventually led to her first free hands-on cooking class.

Read the Story

About Ann

As I became immersed in the world of hospitals and cancer treatment, I began to understand how my cooking skills were helping me to cope with my side effects in ways my fellow travelers in cancer could not. I was able to adjust to taste changes, adapt my food to how I was feeling at any given moment. Listening one day to a friend from Gilda’s describe her problems with how her food tasted, I realized that although the hospital staff were telling her what to do to alleviate her symptoms, they couldn’t tell her how. That’s when I knew I could offer practical help.

More About Ann

Our Programs


Putting Good Nutrition on Your Plate

These classes are offered by way of nutrition slideshow presentations or as cooking demonstrations and tastings. This format is perfect for larger conference audiences. We have been invited to present at various conferences and events around the country including the National Conferences of the YSC, LBBC Stupid Cancer and BMT, and on a more local level for the LLS, Living With Cancer, Gilda's Club, The LGBT Center, The Sid Jacobson JCC and Mt. Sinai's Breast Health Day among others.

Cook for your Life / Cocinar Para Su Salud/ Mi Vida Saludable

A cooking and nutrition education program taught in English and in Spanish to help underserved cancer survivors increase their fruit and vegetable intake and become more knowledgeable about sustainable healthy food options. Mi Vida Saludable is in partnership with Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and is funded by the NIH.

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Our Wonderful Staff

Ann Ogden Gaffney

Founder & President

Ann Ogden Gaffney

Founder & President

To read more about Ann's story and why she started Cook For Your LIFE see the "About Ann" section at the top of this page.

Letwine Mavima

Office Administrator

Letwine Mavima

Office Administrator

Letwine was born in Zimbabwe, but grew up in west Michigan. She fell in love with the idea of Brooklyn at age 11 and found her way to New York after graduating from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. She has a passion for helping underserved communities, chocolate, African food and traveling any and everywhere. Letwine plans to attend law school in the future to pursue her passion for immigrant and civill rights.

Contact:letwine@cfyl.org

Elaine Guinan

Online Assistant Editor

Elaine Guinan

Online Assistant Editor

Elaine graduated with a Bachelors degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. After working as a clinical dietitian in the United Kingdom, an interest in nutrition communications and public health led to Elaine to New York, where she joined Cook For Your Life as Online Assistant Editor. Since joining Cook For Your Life in 2016, Elaine has coordinated all social media communications, and reviewed new content for scientific accuracy. She believes in evidence-based nutrition, and has an interest in working with underserved communities in the future to help increase access to healthy foods and nutrition education.

contact: elaine@cfyl.org

Linda Orlick

Event Director

Linda Orlick

Event Director

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