Highlights of Art & Science of Cooking

Week 2 of Passion for Spices™’s Art & Science Camp taught the kids and teens something new each day.

Day 1 

Passion for Spices Chief Culinary Educator Chef Sam Kadko exposed the campers to having fun with yeast. The  campers made herb focaccia and homemade pita bread, topped with with locally sourced ingredients.  One of the older campers learned how to fire roast bell peppers. The younger ones divided and rolled out the dough for the pita bread. Chef Sam said “See It’s easy! You just have to make a spider with your hands, and roll it up like this". An exciting  start!

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Day 2

 Guest chef, Executive Pastry Chef John Sauchelli, led the Cupcake Wars and the pretzel making. For the first half of the day, the campers twisted their own pretzels and topped them with either cheese or Kashmiri Garam Masala sugar mixture for a sweet or savory twist. The second half was reserved for the Cupcake War. The campers were split into two teams, the “Cupcake Cruisers” and the “Cupcake Bombers”. The Cupcake Bombers utilised the fishing nets, cupcake crumble ‘sand’, and blue sprinkles for a beach theme. They put all the "sand" cupcakes on one side, of their sand and all of the "water" cupcakes on the other side. The Cruisers used a floral theme, grabbing lavender and faux flowers to decorate the around the strawberry buttercream. What a fun day!

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Day 3

Today the campers learned the basics of Pickling and Preserving. The young chefs had a blast using fun gadgets that they had never used before. They sliced up radishes to pickle in a red wine vinegar mixture, which resulted in a surprisingly sweet pickled radish with a complex taste. They made sweet and sour pickles from sliced cucumbers. Everyone gobbled them up with ham and cheese sandwiches on sliced baguettes slathered with Irish butter and the freshly made spiced cherry jam. Yum!

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Day 4

The fourth day was all about Cheese! We made fresh ricotta, which they used for the Cannoli filing.  The Campers enjoyed   figuring out  how much filling they could fit in each cannoli. They also made roasted tomato salads and parmesan with panellas, a sicilian Chickpea fritter. The day’s cooking lesson was focused on curdling milk and they learned the science of curdling milk and the impact of about acids and the ph scale on the flavor and texture of food. Another great foodie adventure for our campers.

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Day 5

Guest Chef Scott Savokinas taught the campers the basics of making home ice cream treats. The Campers made ice cream and parfaits filled with homemade granola and  learned to make an egg custard based French Vanilla ice cream. The Campers used the ice cream to make a no-bake  dessert  with an oreo crust  and a chocolate fudge topping. The granola had a delicious honey taste and went really complimented  the maple syrup used in the parfait. As the week came to a close, everyone went home happily with their stomachs full of ice cream, fresh fruit parfait, granola, and the no bake dessert. What a fun week !

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Memories of 2018 Around the World Camp

Highlights of Around the World 2018 Camp

In five short days, the campers had traveled to the food scenes of Latin America, Europe, and East Asia. At Passion For Spices™ Summer Cooking Camp, the kids learn about the food and flavor profiles of regional dishes native to a particular country, which changes every day. From fire-roasted poblano salsa to chicken shao mai, Passion For Spices™’ chef, Sam Kadko, kept the kids on their toes in the kitchen.

Summer Cooking Camp

Day 1: Mexican Cooking

During our brief stop in Mexico on Monday, the campers charred poblano peppers, removed the skin, and combined them with blanched tomatoes in a food processor to form a delicious sauce that the kids loved to spoon over their tacos. The kids also made chicken enchiladas smothered in green tomatillo sauce and stuffed with chicken and freshly grated Monterrey jack cheese.

Cooking Camp Summit NJ

Day 2: Spanish Specialties

On the second day, we visited Spain where the children prepared paella valenciana with chicken and chorizo. Older campers enjoyed browning the chorizo over the stove while our younger chefs enjoyed cutting summer squash and zucchini for a traditional Spanish tapas. The children made a roux sauce, frequently used to thicken other dishes.

Kids Summer Cooking Camp
Summit Cooking Camp
Summer Cooking Camp
Kids Cooking Camp

Day 3: Asian Dishes

On Wednesday, we stopped by China for some dim sum. The kids watched excitedly as Chef Kadko showed them how to make pleats for the chicken potstickers. They also enjoyed making shao mai, an open faced dumpling. They also had golden egg rolls packed with mushrooms, noodles, and aromatics like ginger and garlic. Surely enough, we sent home a class full of happy campers with stomachs full of lots and lots of dumplings.

Kids Cooking Camp Summit

Day 4: French Delights

On his last day of this week’s camp, Kadko gave the campers a taste of what has long been known as the culinary center of the world: France. He showed students how to swirl crepe batter around a lightly buttered pan to evenly distribute the batter so that the crepe cooks evenly, while others used a portable induction cooktop to make petite crepes. The flatbread was filled with either an apple or chicken filling. In addition to the crepes, the campers baked citrusy madeleines. Once baked, the campers dipped half into a rich chocolate ganache, that was so good, kids were demanding it by the spoonful!

Cooking camp for Kids
Cooking Camp
Apple Crepe Normandy

Day 5: Argentine Cuisine

Day 5 came with guest chefs Anita and Vicky of Summit’s own Anita’s Baked Goods. Together, they instructed the campers on how to prepare traditional Argentine empanadas, alfajores, and Argentinian gnocchi. Campers got to prepare everything from the empanada fillings to putting the alfajores together, which are cookies with dulce de leche (caramelized condensed milk) sandwiched between two sugar cookies. But the campers favorite part of camp that day way filling the empanadas.

Passion for Spices Cooking Camp
Argentine Cuisine
Kids Cooking Classes