Monday, June 23, 2014

Cook Like a Chef! -- Off to the Kitchen!!

Michelle traveled all the way from South Carolina to experience camp this week -- Welcome campers!!

It's that time of year again -- Cook Like a Chef is back in action! The day was off to an early start as families began to arrive around eight to settle in their campers; by nine we had nearly everyone ready to start the day! Some might have still been a little sleepy, or still waiting for their breakfast to digest, but that didn't last long! There's nothing better than starting your day off in the kitchen.

We're very happy to have Dr. Marge Condrasky and her student, Michelle Kuntz, here with us this week all the way from Clemson University in South Carolina. Dr. Condrasky has been participating and conducting research with the Cook Like a Chef! camp for years. Her research has been instrumental in improving nutrition and culinary education for adolescents. Marge and Michelle oversaw the distribution of the surveys, and campers answered all the questions, whether they made sense initially, or not. (What is "mise en place" anyway?) Campers will fill out the same surveys on Friday to see what they've learned! 

By the end of the day, campers had already discovered new knowledge -- by doing! The campers practiced their culinary terminology with a fun flashcard video, learned how to measure dry and liquid ingredients, and discovered how we taste. Campers formed groups of three and settled in at their second home (the kitchen) for the week. They then completed a Hide 'n' Seek activity that showed them what was available to use in their new homes

Campers were in for a real treat when camp veteran, Derek Polay, came in to share his story. Derek participated in Cook Like a Chef! a few years ago, which ignited his own culinary dreams. Since the days of cooking camp, Derek has built up quite the resume. He has worked at Gigi's restaurant and previously Sugar on Top bakery, just to name a few. He will be using his experience (starting with Cook Like a Chef!) and taking his dreams to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, where he will continue to develop his culinary education and passion. Congratulations, Derek! We're all very, very excited to see what your budding future may hold...perhaps a "Michelin Star"?! Who knows - maybe we'll see a 2014 camper again in a few years to tell us about their future culinary ambitions and dreams come true!  

Derek and Chef Anne Corr then showed the campers how to prepare Minestrone Soup in 25 minutes flat -- after the mise en place was assembled, of course-- and then all the odd numbered units went back to make their own soups. Campers in even numbered units made big, green salads filled with veggies of their choice and tossed in a homemade vinaigrette.

What happens when you combine teamwork, a kitchen, and some fresh and local ingredients? A delicious meal, of course! Campers sat down together to beautifully set tables to share the well-balanced lunch they created as a team. They even got to indulge with Chef Corr's specialty cookies! There are a lot of budding chefs in these kitchens in 007 Henderson, and it is exciting to watch them use their own creativity and knowledge to create new and exciting dishes. Tomorrow they'll really begin to explore their palettes with grains and vegetables... we have some tasty recipes to explore! 

Want to see more photos from today? Click on the linked caption below the photo!

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