“It’s not just a cooking camp, it’s a cooking school.”
Our Culinary Teen Program is designed to teach essential kitchen skills and the fundamentals of cooking. This is a very useful program for getting college-ready teens ready to help organize their meals.
This summer we had our second annual Culinary Teen Program, where we had another wonderful group of teens enrolled in our program who were able to have the wonderful opportunity to enhance their culinary repertoire. It was evident from the finale competition that the teens were getting comfortable with developing a full-course meal using the mystery basket ingredients and techniques that they were taught. The parents enjoyed a wonderful feast made by the teens. This year’s program was as follows:
Day 1: soup-a-rama
Soup-a-Rama is focused around learning about the base of soup making and how different ingredients are incorporated. In this session, Chef Sam Kadko introduced the teens in how to use proper knife skills, how to use different parts of vegetables and produces, and how to incorporate them into soups. The young chefs made Gazpacho, Chicken Coconut & Galangal Soup, and White Bean Soup with Bacon & Kale. It was wonderful to see how the teens incorporated various seasonal ingredients and made classic soups with a lot of nutrition and flavor.
Day 2: Appetizers
Our second day of appetizers was all about the use of marinades with starter dishes, what type of salads are best used as a first course, and how using color and texture contrast creates appealing starting meals. Everyone made and indulged in Stuffed Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes, Chicken Saté Yakitori with a Southeast Asian Dipping Sauce, and a Salad with Cucumber, Tomato, and Chickpea.
Day 3: Side dishes
The third day of our program taught the young chefs about preparing a potato casserole, using rice-cooking techniques for other grains, and preparing vegetable gratins. The menu included Potatoes Boulangere, Farro Pilaf, and a Vegetable Gratin.
Day 4: Entrees
On the fourth day, the chef taught the teens how to prepare various entrees. This included simple cooking techniques for different basic ingredients like various vegetables, chicken, fish, etc. The campers made main courses like Portobello Mushroom Stuffed with Vegetable Couscous, Chicken Baked “en Cocotte”, and Salmon in a Potato Crust.
Day 5 (finale): Mystery Basket competition
The final day of the program was where the parents would come in to see what their children have learned. The class was divided up into teams, and each team was given a basket of ingredients they had to use to create a full-course meal, complete with an appetizer, entree, and side dish. This final day gave the young chefs experience on how to use the techniques they learned on different ingredients, and how to tie everything together to make their own dish.