Culinary Intensive Camp

Joined Aug 11, 2000
What a week! I've had 16 middle schoolers for the past 5 days and the next 5 days. The first day I did a tasting with them 5 extra Virgin Olive oils, viniagers, 4 honeys, sorghum and various salts.Then we tasted tomatoes, heirloom , rubber ball, cherry , canned....NOT EVERY TOMATO IS THE SAME>
so there was Mexican day wiht black beans, quesa dillas, enchiladas, dip, guacamole, tomitilla salsa, tomato salsa, ice cream with vanilla bean.then fillo day with rhubarb strudle, cookies baklava, then Asian day with potstickers, wontons, eggrolls, lemongrass/ginger ice cream... these are 6th-9th grade...we had a blast. NO RECIPES until the end of class then we guesstimate proportions o We talk about how to adapt or edit a dish....if you don't have or if it is too sharp is too cool. this week is egg day, blackberries and peaches are in from the we'll do pies, tarts, strudels as much hands on as possible to make sure they take home a confidence in what they are able to do. Know flavor combinations and not be afraid to play. This has been an incredible experience 3 farmers came and talked to the kids about their growing practiceswe're off to a local restuarant that has bought from farmer's for 18 years. get the tour talk and a scoop of ice cream....what a deal. Bonus is my incredible assistant who is so on the ball and is willing to shop all over town to bring in the shtuff I need. She even showed up Sat to help at the market.Plus her family owns a house in Umbria/tuscany that has 10 hectres of olive trees with their own olive oil!!!!!! TOO COOL!
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Wow!! Those are lucky kids! I'm sure it's exciting to watch their palates and knowledge broaden. Too bad we don't have something like that here. I'd sign up in a minute!, I'd recommend any number of kids take the course. ;)
Joined Aug 11, 2000
I've used it for e-mail and newsletter fodder for the past couple of weeks and will for a couple of more....the first thing I said to the kids was that I would teach this class to adults. There was alot of interest in it at the market....adults.This is pretty blatant play....I've got a lot of components and we discuss what we're making that day. What is also too cool is going around the table and naming a use for extra egg whites, or yolks or what products they could make with tomatoes. The responses are GOOOOD> One of my biggest concerns would be a child having anal parents that are hung up on recipes, when they go to create it may be a real surprise for many families. One mom stayed after and said that after the olive oil tasting her daughter came home and asked how many olive oils they have:) ...course 1.

Interestingly we have a vegetarian, one that is kosher and thus doing vegetarian and then one that just does not eat pork, so I adapt so that they have a vegetarian version or somethings to eat that I may have added extraneous bits of meat tooo....they are jamming with this. It's so great to have a sour tomitillo salsa and ask to to soften the flavors....sour cream....

AIWF has a tasting program that looks similar, I'm going to call the person on the web and see if it looks like what I'm doing..
This could be replicated.
Joined May 23, 2003
What a great experience for those kids. When I accidentally became a chef (after cooking for 13 years) I was an education major in college and thought cooking would be a great way to introduce subjects to kids that might otherwise be boring. Social studies (food is universal and cross cultural.) Math (measuring) science, reading, writing, you name it. You probably gave those kids something they will remember the rest of their lives. Good job!
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