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Cook It Forward: A NEW Micro-Grant Program for Alumni

Hello CulinaryCorps Alumni, Friends, and Supporters!

In anticipation of our 10-year anniversary later this year, we here at CulinaryCorps HQ have been hard at work creating a new and meaningful way for the organization to grow its mission. Today we are very pleased to announce the launch of our brand new Cook It Forward initiative. While not a traditional outreach trip, we believe this new program will create similar ripples of good through good food.

So what is it, exactly? Cook It Forward is a micro-grant program open to CulinaryCorps alumni providing $555 in seed funding to help launch an outreach project of their own. This is our small way of giving back to the over 100 chef-volunteers who have given so much over the past decade to make our organization a delicious success.

Why $555? Because our goal is to fund 5 alumni-driven projects, in 5 months with 5 hundred dollars each. Simple. And while this may not seem like a whole lot, it has the potential to be mighty. We know this from experience. In 2006, CulinaryCorps got its start with a micro-grant of $500 from the Geoffrey Roberts Foundation. With the help of each and every one of you, this small grant snowballed into an organization that has helped hundreds of people by feeding, teaching, and sharing good food.

If you have participated as a chef-volunteer on a previous CulinaryCorps trip, FAQs about the Cook It Forward program along with a link to the application can be found HERE. Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis until up to five grants have been distributed. If you dream it, we can help fund it. So please consider applying today.

And if you have not participated on a trip but would like to support our micro-grants, please consider making a donation by choosing Cook It Forward as your program fund. All contributions, big or small, and will help keep this program running for years to come.

Please stay tuned for updates about our Cook It Forward success stories on our website. We cannot wait to share all the good news amid the amazing outreach with you, our favorite fans.

In good food and service,

Christine Carroll and the CulinaryCorps Executive Board

A Truly Camp-Tastic Week!

     

Hello CulinaryCorps Friends and Supporters,

We’re back from Camp Sunshine! And what a camp-tastic week it was. The 2015 team hit the ground running for the third year in a row launching our custom World of Flavors cooking curriculum. They cooked side-by-side with over 200 campers and volunteers during the camp’s end-of-August oncology week. Our ten chef-volunteers worked hard to become diplomats of good food and fun, showcasing culinary lessons from around the globe.

It’s always our long-term goal that participating families gain the skills necessary throughout the week to create meals at home that balance health and wellness with taste and convenience. And from the family feedback we’ve received so far, our time was well spent. We are ecstatic to hear reports of  quinoa at dinnertime and sushi-making parties on the weekend. We believe the “secret sauce” to our programming is the special brand of student engagement our chefs deploy: immersive, fun, hands-on and boundary challenging in the best of ways. It’s our goal that every single camper (from 2 to 92) participate in a recipe’s creation despite any limitations. This year, campers rolled out their own whole wheat-spinach pasta dough, pressed balls of corn masa to make tortillas, whisked eggs to frothy yellow perfection and cranked out mounds of shaved ice to make the Korean summertime treat, patbingsu. The sense of pride in these completed dishes was nearly palpable.

But perhaps the memories that linger the longest are the ones our chefs make when they let the goofiness loose. Our Foodie Olympics brought out just this kind of memorable silliness; Jell-O was tossed at (goggle-protected!) heads, marshmallows were launched into the stratosphere on supersized slingshots, and vegetable odds and ends were used to make beautiful art. Plus, at the end of the week, we encouraged the campers to stretch their newfound culinary muscles in our Third Annual Top Chef Sunshine. This year the challenge was to create a super summer salad, and boy oh boy, did they create some stunners.

 

We have so many people to thank for another amazing week. To everyone who donated on the behalf of our incredible chef-volunteer team, we appreciate every last dime. Seriously, every cent made us smile. Of course, our rock star sponsors (including the recently added Runaway Dish, an amazing charity pop-up supper club in Louisiana) are no slouches either. Every year we are surprised and delighted when a company steps up to support our work. Thank you HMart, International Culinary Center, ChefWear, and Ford. We could not have done this without you.

For those of you who would rather look at more purty pictures of the week, click on over to our Google photo feed. (Keep an eye out for Taco Matt, a fan favorite the whole week long.) Or if you crave a a slightly different take on the events, Aimee Bariteau, our wonderful Trip Leader, wrote a heartfelt recap of the week over on her blog, Warm up the Pan. First-time participant, Ali Waks-Adams, also captured the joyous intensity of a CulinaryCorps trip on her own blog, Our Maine Course. And for those of you who want some video action, our team was gifted a role in the teen group’s film recap of the week. We think they did an amazing job capturing the spirit of Camp Sunshine.

   

So here we are, at the end of this year’s trip, and once again we somehow cannot fully express how appreciative we are of the opportunity to turn food into something more than just fuel. For us, our classes are about making connections to our audience, our team, our foodways and ultimately, ourselves. Inevitably, every year it’s us–the chef-volunteers–that gain far more benefits from the trip than we ever bestow. We feel honored that Camp Sunshine and its campers welcomed us for another year of food, fellowship and profound insight. And we pledge to “cook it forward” as we re-enter our real lives in the kitchen…and beyond.

With our hearts full of love and thanks,

Christine Carroll, Executive Director and the 2015 CulinaryCorps Team

Meet our 2015 Chef-Volunteer Team

Meet our team of chef-volunteers for our 2014 Camp Sunshine trip!

Aimee Bariteau (Trip Leader) lives in Cambridge, MA. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute, this will mark Aimee’s fifth trip with the organization, and third as its trip leader. Aimee is also a seven-year breast cancer survivor, and was selected in 2014 as a Model of Courage for Ford Warriors in Pink. Her Oreo-studded chocolate chip cookies are magical.

Margot Greenwald (Co-Leader/PR & Events) is a New York City native and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.  She currently works near Tribeca at Houseman Restaurant as a line cook. Houseman has a small kitchen team so Margot wears many hats from filleting fish to baking peanut tarts.  One day she hopes to take her career into the New York City Public School system. When not working, Margot can be found making jams and pies, and checking out new eateries in NYC.

 Shin Kim (Co-leader/Curriculum Coordinator) is passionate about spreading the word about the deliciousness of Korean cuisine and teaches recreational Korean cooking classes throughout the New York City area via her company, Banchan Stories. In her spare time Shin translates Korean TV shows. She has starred in her own online cooking show “Cooking with Shin” that highlights dishes featured in those shows.

Mathieson Jennings (Co-Leader/Kitchen Management) oversees food production at stunning eating emporium, The Market on Market, in San Francisco. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Matt is passionate about sharing his love for food and sustainable practices with others, and is a three-time CulinaryCorps chef-volunteer.

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Ali Waks-Adams was born in NYC (Mets not Yankees) and currently lives in Brunswick, Maine where she is the pastry chef at Trattoria Athena, volunteers with Mid-Coast Hunger Prevention Program and has been on television promoting the trip. Ali attended the International Culinary Institute in Philadelphia. Her refrigerator and pantry hold many many many condiments and spices from many many many countries.

Chanel Gaude lives in Lafayette, Louisiana. She has been working in kitchens for four years, and recently left her position as Sous Chef at Village Cafe. She is a dedicated volunteer for several local fundraising dinner series including Pig and Plough Suppers and Runaway Dish.  When she’s not working, you can find her outside tending to her two acres of land, kayaking or camping.

Janice Provost is the long-time executive chef and owner of Parigi in Dallas, Texas, a farm-to-table restaurant that blends Italian, French and American cuisine. She co-founded Cafe Momentum, a non profit restaurant that teaches at-risk young people the restaurant business, and gives them the skills to find employment in the food and hospitality industry.  She and her husband (of over two decades) love to travel, especially to France and the Mexican Riviera.

Jeremy Kohn was born and raised in Queens. He’s been working in the restaurant business since he was 15 years old getting his start as a soda jerk at Johnny Rockets. He graduated from Johnson and Wales University studying culinary arts and food service management. Jeremy is currently the Sous Chef in charge of catering at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Lauren Issaeff  grew up in Denver and completed the Italian culinary program at the International Culinary Center. Soon after graduation, she moved to San Francisco to work for The Culinary Edge as recipe and product developer. She’s now back Denver working in culinary PR. Lauren always wanted to be a camp counselor so she’s really looking forward to her week at Camp Sunshine!

Perri O. Blumberg is a recent grad of the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, and former intern at Mercer Kitchen. She is currently a freelance food and wellness writer for digital and print outlets such as SELF Magazine and  Fit Nation Magazine.

CulinaryCorps on the Telly

Ali Waks-Adams has been cooking all over the northeast for years. She’s in Maine now, and is part of our 2015 chef-volunteer team! Watch her make our signature panzanella salad with on The 207, a morning show for Portland’s WCSH 6 NBC. We think she totally nailed it!

Thank You 2015 Sponsors!

Once again, we consider ourselves fortunate to have a wonderfully supportive team of Corporate Sponsors to help fund our 2015 outreach trip to Camp Sunshine. We are incredibly thankful for their generous contributions. So if you are looking for chef clothing or a cooking school, Korean foods, or even a car, please look no further than this amazing group of donors:

Warriors in Pink powered by Ford

Aimee Bariteau, our fearless 2015 Trip Leader,continues to fill her role as a Ford Model of Courage. We cannot think of a better choice, and HuffPo clearly agrees! This year the Warriors in Pink program powered by Ford is making a generous donation and donating hats, t-shirts, bandanas and aprons to hand out to volunteers and campers. Ford has donated over $128 million towards the fight against breast cancer and those championing the cause. We are honored to once again be a part of their mission for 2015.

The International Culinary Center

The ICC has been a faithful backer of CulinaryCorps since its inception and this year is no different. ICC is yet again generously sponsoring our Top Chef Sunshine competition and sending along an expert judge, Amanda Cann, to weigh-in on the final dishes. We are excited to be honoring a loved one close to the ICC family as part of this event by adding Swedish Fish to the brown bag of secret ingredients.

ICC-LOGO

ChefWear

Some may say that the uniform doesn’t make the chef, the chef makes the uniform but in our mind, it’s a little bit of both. Once again, we’ll be donning sharp-looking chefs coats thanks to ChefWear.

ChefwearLogo-feat

H-Mart

HMart has once again stepped up to the plate to sponsor a full day of culinary programming for our campers that includes a sampling of traditional Korean foods and ingredients along with a hands-on cooking class of Korean Rice Balls and the summertime favorite, patbingsu. We’re excited to bring Korea to life on Lake Sebago!

 

Hmart-Logo

Stonewall Kitchen

 

Stonewall Kitchen has been jarring the essence of Maine since 1991. Their Wild Maine Blueberry jam is practically legend but since their inception, the have become a watershed of delectables.  They are big supporters of Camp Sunshine! And if you happen to be in York, Maine this summer, definitely check out their ever-expanding roster of cooking classes at the Stonewall Cooking School.

 

 

Now recruiting volunteers for our 2015 trip!

CulinaryCorps is excited to announce that we will be returning for a third time to Camp Sunshine for our 2015 outreach trip. A year-round facility on Maine’s Lake Sebago, Camp Sunshine has been supporting children with life-threatening illnesses and their families for over 30 years. We feel so lucky to have been a part of the magic that happened there last summer; and we are honored to be invited to return.

The selected 10 person chef-volunteer team will once again launch our World of Flavors cooking program during the camp’s August 22-28th oncology session. This  CulinaryCorps designed curriculum includes healthful hands-on cooking classes for all ages and delicious family-oriented activities throughout the week.

To gain an even better understanding of what this trip will entail, please read our trip summary of last year’s amazing visit. We will be replicating the same itinerary this year with a few minor changes. And for those of you who are more visual, take a peek at all the incredible camp moments here.

Doing good never tasted better. Apply today! Trip details and application below:

TRIP DETAILS

Location: Camp Sunshine,Casco, ME

Trip Dates: August 22nd (arrive by 2pm in Portland) – August 28th, 2015 (depart by 3pm)

Trip Fee: $325 per person (Includes housing, meals and ground transport. Does not include transportation to/from Portland, ME)

Trip Fundraising Requirement: $400 per person

Managing Trip Leader: Aimee Bariteau

For general trip FAQs, please click HERE

APPLICATION INFORMATION

Application: Click HERE to fill out our online application*

Application Deadline: Friday, May 11th at 5pm EST 

(Selection Notification: On or Before May 21st, 2015)

*If accepted, Camp Sunshine requires a secondary application and background check.

VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS

  • 21 years of age
  • Minimum 1 year of professional culinary experience and/or culinary degree (Currently enrolled culinary students are also encouraged to apply)
  • References and background check
  • Personal health insurance
  • Fundraising for class supplies, equipment and ingredients

PREFERRED SKILLS

  • Hands-on experience in teaching others how to cook healthy meals.
  • Previous experience working with children of all ages.
  • Flexibility and adaptability both in the kitchen and outside of it.
  • Willingness to get goofy, get dancin’ and get into the camp spirit!

OUR MISSION AT CAMP SUNSHINE

Camp Sunshine supports children with life threatening illnesses and their families.  The camp has the distinction of being the only program in the nation whose goal is to address the impact of a life threatening illness on every member of the immediate  family—the ill child, the parents, and the siblings.  Since its inception, Camp Sunshine has provided a haven for over 40,500 individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Our CulinaryCorps trip mission is to enhance the camp’s daily programming with cooking classes geared for campers of all ages including parents. Each class will be designed to teach culinary basics as well as healthful alternatives to unhealthy foods. And as always, we aim for every class to be a lot of fun! In addition, we will be hosting evening programming for families that will focus on fostering health and family-bonding through cooking. Finally, our lessons will be put to good use as each age group competes separately in their very own “Top Chef Sunshine” challenge.

It is our hope that cooking with these campers and their families will provide educational entertainment throughout the week, culinary knowledge to bring home to their own kitchens and a whole lot of long-lasting joy.

VOLUNTEER  OVERVIEW

Throughout the week of service, our chef-volunteers will be tasked with the following:

  • Introduce the flavors and culinary concepts that will be covered in the curriculum on the day of camper arrival through our “Test Your Tastebuds” event.
  • Teach daily hands-on cooking classes for campers as well as the parents around a country’s culinary heritage incorporating not only food but music, books and history.
  • The five 45-minute sessions per day will encompass the nuts and bolts of cooking including knife skills, palate expansion, sautéing, grilling, dough making, and healthy shortcuts as well as highlighting a country of origin.
  • Each class will be slightly modified to fit the skill set of the age group (2-4, 5-7, 8-12, teens and adult) as well as adjust the lessons for allergies and/or disabilities.
  • Work behind-the-scenes in the camp’s kitchen creating an intimate dinner-party “date night” for the parents on Wednesday night.
  • Facilitate an afternoon of crazy fun with our second annual “Foodie Family Olympics!”
  • Host a “Top Chef Sunshine” competition on the final day of camp where chefs and campers in each age group team up to create a stellar dish using a secret ingredient.
  • High-five, hug, laugh, dance, tell jokes, sing on stage, smile, giggle, act goofy, get silly…all in the name of CAMP!

For a more in-depth description of the daily responsibilities of the CulinaryCorps volunteers, please read our 2014 daily overview HERE.

3-Course Fundraiser Dinner at the Natural Gourmet on August 15th

Please join CulinaryCorps alum and Natural Gourmet Institute graduate, Celia Lam, for the August 15th installment of NGI’s Friday Night Dinner series, a 3-course vegetarian/vegan dinner cooked by the students. Part of proceeds of will be donated to CulinaryCorps and our 2014 Camp Sunshine trip. The menu is not yet available online but it is sure to be creatively delicious.

Tickets are $48.99 for the public (a bit less for alumni and students) and are available online HERE.

Hope to see you soon!

Our 2014 Trip in Numbers

10 carefully selected chef-volunteers from across the country

Including 1 Canadian, eh?!

824 collective CulinaryCorps volunteer manpower hours

281 miles walked in our outdoor pop-up kitchen

20 classes launched for our World of Flavors cooking curriculum for 185 campers and volunteers

Over 453 plates of food cooked by the campers themselves including:

186 freshly-pressed tortillas

56-feet of veggie-sushi rolled

12 original “Top Chef Sunshine” dishes created using…

 1 secret ingredient (Allez cuisine!! It was whole wheat orzo.)

4 gallons of Jell-O tossed during our 2nd Annual Family Foodie Olympics but…

           0 eggs broken during the “Chef Egg” relay

226 pounds of Maine lobster donated by CulinaryCorps and devoured by the entire camp

Thousands of heart-expanding moments of joy made possible by…

1 upcoming 3-course vegetarian fundraising dinner in NYC (book your tickets now!),

10 generous corporate sponsors,

1 innovative Salvage Supperclub fundraiser and…

133 amazing individual donors just like you!

For all your kindness, we offer our immeasurable thanks.


Our 2014 Chef-Volunteer team in their Warriors in Pink aprons.

Our 2014 Trip Daily Recaps

Below is the day-to-day summary of our magical week at Camp Sunshine during the camp’s oncology/hematology week from July 5-11, 2014. Many thanks to our leadership team and chef-volunteers for taking the time to capture such a wonderful whirlwind of a trip.

(And for those of you who would also like a visual tour of the week, hop on over to our photo gallery to view the fun!)

Day 1: Test Your Taste Buds

It felt great to be back in our lemon-yellow Camp Sunshine volunteer shirts! After a series of orientation lectures and tours, the CulinaryCorps crew inventoried all the equipment stored on site since our last trip. Bowls, bamboo steamers and flag banners all found their way back to our outdoor pop-up culinary classroom, aka: kitchen stadium.

As evening rolled around, the entire team trotted out on stage to introduce this year’s World of Flavors program to the campers. Then we were off to the races as the families joined us for our new and approved Test Your Taste Buds challenge. This event helps campers identify some of the key ingredients would be used throughout our World of Flavors curriculum. For our ingredient line-up this year, we threw in a few surprises including multi-colored quinoa and dark brown buckwheat honey which many people guessed was molasses. One camper even wrote in Pine Sol after smelling freshly grated ginger.

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The best part about having the entire camp participate in this event was that it was fun to see new and old campers alike. And what a camper crowd it was! There were over 122 kids and 40 adults in attendance this year, a definite increase in number from last year.

We are SO excited you are here. I was praying for CulinaryCorps to come back to our session!

One teen in the group talked to us excitedly about his new culinary high school. Another mentioned that he would never forget ginger after taking a big bite (accidentally) out of a knob of it during last year’s Test Your Taste Buds event. And another told us that her favorite food is sushi. We definitely are in the right crowd! But perhaps the proudest moment of our first day was when we saw last year’s Golden Rolling Pin mounted in a place of honor on the wall of the newly refurbished cafeteria. It was a sight to behold. We were definitely motivated to get the week started.

Day 2: A Dinner in Rome

This year we returned to the “boot” and once again made homemade, whole-wheat pizzas and our now infamous Panzanella salad. Campers got to watch the whole-wheat dough being made from scratch and were able to both roll and top a pizza with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. Once assembled, the plate-sized beauties were put in the camp’s outdoor wood-burning oven to get golden brown and crisp.

Italy Dressing Group

The second station was all about arcobaleni, or rainbows in Italian, but not in the sky, on the plate! Fresh veggies of all shapes, colors and sizes were chopped to include a beautiful Italian salad called panzanella. The central ingredient, day-old whole wheat bread, was diced and sautéed in olive oil. While the sautéing was left to the chefs, the campers got to practice their very own chef wrist flip using a sauté pan and rice, a great way to practice with less pressure since a missed flip won’t ruin your meal.

Italy Flip Pan

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Lettuce. Lettuce who? Lettuce in, we’re freezing!

After shaking their dressing to a tune made popular last trip, campers finally got to use their knife skills to chop the lettuce that would finish the dish.

Bear claw

We were also able to talk to several returning families from last year. They were thrilled to have their children (and themselves) re-engage with our programming. When queried about repeating the recipes and if this would negatively impact they fun they said

I’ll put it like this. They would be excited if it was all new recipe. They would be equally excited if it was the same recipes. Either way, they can’t wait to cook!

In fact, they told us that rumors of the fantastic “CulinaryCorps week” were spreading throughout the Camp Sunshine community and many families were requesting to come to the session we were assigned to. What a wonderful compliment!

That night, while prep for the next day was happening in the kitchen, our chefs got to show off their dance moves at the camp’s masquerade. Was there some salad dressing shaking happening that evening? You bet! Many thanks Ellen, a 2013 chef-volunteer, for instituting the tradition. While the dance was in full swing, CulinaryCorps was working behind the scenes.  In order to ensure our classes are “camper ready” (read: easy to do and teach in only 45-minutes) our chefs use the cafeteria after hours to prep for the following day. While the rest of the volunteers are headed off to bed, CulinaryCorps may be making a big batch of homemade tomato sauce, cutting square dumpling wrapper into rounds or grating mounds of carrots.  We’ve learned that an ounce of prevention prep is worth its weight in gold.

Day 3:  A Lunch in Tokyo

Day three started bright and early with the team getting our kitchen classroom ready for five classes to travel to Japan.  Starting with the 6-8 year olds, our first team made edamame gyoza – teaching the four simple steps of dumpling making via rap:

Step 1:  Can I get a scoop scoop?

Step 2:  Can I get a dip dip?

Step 3:  Can I get a fold fold?

Step 4:  Can I get a pinch pinch?

Japan Sushi Fingers

The next group continued our rainbow theme with veggie sushi rolls – spinach, green beans, avocado, grated carrots, red peppers, purple cabbage – and even the option to include smoked salmon.  Even the counselors were able to share the camper’s sushi rolls – with one even admitting that she and a few other counselors grabbed some of the uneaten pieces and saved them in their room to snack on later in the week.

Japan Goofy

Anyone know what tofu is? –I know, meat!

After breaking down our last class, our team immediately started prepping for our first ever evening class for the volunteers.  This additional class event was our way of saying “thank you” to all of the volunteers who help us run our classes as smoothly as possible – making sure that the campers hands are washed, aprons on, keeping all of the campers hydrated in the  eighty-degree sunshine, cleaning up after our family meal and in general, making our lives easier.

The volunteer class was to start in the dining room after the talent show. While we expected to start at 9pm, the talent show went a little long with “Let It Go” renditions so we didn’t get started until 9:30pm.  The delay didn’t deter our team of chefs or the 45 volunteers eager to roll their own sushi.  In addition to the veggie sushi rolls, Chef Shin taught the volunteers something entirely new to our programming– Korean rice balls. And thanks to a generous donation from HMart, the campers were able to sample some tasty Korean snacks including assorted banchan – kimchee, sesame greens and lotus root in soy sauce – as well as crispy treats like Korean popcorn, sweet potato crisps, and finally, sesame cookies. Once all of the sushi rolls were cut and the rice balls finished, all of the volunteers got a great late night snack – family style – but not without helping us clean up the dining room afterwards (after all, we are all volunteers).

Volunteer Class 3

While Chefs Shin, Celia, Dantee, Margot and Christine were teaching the volunteers, the rest of the team was on dishwashing and prep duty. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t have some fun of their own! Our Three Tenor Chefs – Chefs Thomas, Rusty and Mat–accompanied their hard work with (very) tuneful renditions of Billy Joel and Bon Jovi’s greatest hits as well as half of the soundtrack from Grease.

After our team of chefs finished up in the kitchen, including making 4 gallons of Jell-O, we immediately got into some arts and crafts, making signs for the following day’s Family Foodie Olympics. After we were done with our arts and crafts project, everyone just kept on hanging out and enjoying each other’s company, despite being bone tired.

Day 4:  A Breakfast in Mexico and 2nd Annual Family Foodie Olympics

Once again, Day 4 started off bright and early with a three consecutive classes after breakfast.  As arguably the most popular dish from last year, the repeat campers were looking most forward to our trip to Mexico. Old and new campers alike were eager to get their hands on the tortilla presses.

Mexico Meal Time

After splitting the campers into two teams, one side made our patented “guac in a bag” and cheesy scrambled eggs with chorizo while team two made black bean and corn salsa and of course, pressed fresh corn tortillas. We also introduced a new exercise, the “Tortilla Press”, by emphasizing that physical activity is just as important as a healthy diet. You hold a tortilla press over your head and squat (until we tell you to stop!)

You guys are THE BEST cooks.

After lunch, while the campers had their family time, our team got ready for the Second Annual Family Foodie Olympics.  This was a chance for families to get messy, get shaking, and go fishing, donut fishing that is.

  • Butter Up was a tasty game that got families shaking heavy cream until butter was made.  We offered bread on the spot so people could slather and try their creation and after one taste, many families took their butter back to their room to enjoy later.
  • Hello Jell-O was a rousing success once again. All the kids were excited to throw the neon jiggly stuff at their parents’ heads (with the goal of getting it into the container, of course).

Foodie Jello3

  • Donut Fishing was a new game this year and got campers trying eat a hanging donut without their hands while blindfolded. They (usually) got the sweet treat at the end.

Foodie Donuts Hanging

  • Chef Egg was the most photographed event of the afternoon with parents taking pictures of their kids in chef whites, aprons and hats.  Even the chefs got into the action, with a special round of Chef Egg using plastic teaspoons.

Foodie Chef Egg2

  • Finally, everyone got to Count the Carrots, a healthier alternative to last year’s “gumball guess”  that had campers guessing how many baby carrots could cram into a giant jar.

Everyone had a blast! And after wrapping up another successful Family Foodie Olympics, our Korean rice ball makers – Chefs Shin, Celia and Margot – made another hundred rice balls as a special appetizers for the special Parents’ Dinner.  Our team was invited to mingle with the parents during their social hour which was a nice way to reconnect with families from last year as well as meet the new ones.

Day 5:  Top Chef Sunshine

The morning certainly started off right with Rusty, of Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee, leading a special parents-only coffee tasting class. A few lucky parents got to take home coffee samples but the entire camp also made out that morning since Rusty was brewing up enough joe for all. Hooray for caffeine!

But now on to the most anticipated event of the week. With the secret ingredient in place, whole wheat orzo, each age-group was split into four teams to design and create a unique dish. The dishes were judged by an esteemed panel of individuals (including a special guest from the Institute of Culinary Education, the event’s sponsor) on Taste, Presentation, Creative, and most importantly, Teamwork. The judges tasted salads and soups, even orzo dumplings, and were impressed with the array of dishes the campers concocted in a little over 20 minutes.

Top Chef Stadium

Each age-group had an overall winner for the coveted “Treat Trophy” with the overall winning team being announced at the final “Golden Rolling Pin” ceremony later that night. After the cuisines reigned supreme, the chefs quickly cleared away the Top Chef set up to get ready for our final parent’s class, a relaunch of yesterday’s Mexico breakfast.  With over 40 adults, they were as eager as the kids to get their hands on the homemade tortillas.

Top Chef Judgin

As a final note, we take the “One Bite Club” very seriously here at CulinaryCorps but we are pleased to announce that every camper who came through our class is now a bona fide member. We were also pleased to see that no one “yucked a yum” throughout the entire five classes, including the adults who are sometimes our biggest offenders.

But who won this year’s Top Chef Sunshine competition? Who are now the proud (honorary) owners of the coveted Golden Rolling Pin? We’re pleased to announce that The Terrific Twos, an all-girl team made up of 6-8 year olds, took home the top prize with their creative take on orzo salad. And to wrap the week up, we had a few special guests take the stage to recap the week for the campers. See below for a trio of very good sports.

 

trio

Day 6:  Ask a Chef

On the final morning of camp, several CulinaryCorps chefs set up a booth where campers and parents (and volunteers too) could come and ask any last-minute cooking questions, pick up any recipes they may be missing, or just say goodbye. We were thrilled so many people decided to stop by to say thank you so that in turn we could thank them! Anyone who was not manning the table was cleaning, sorting, organizing, cataloging and storing our kitchen items for next year. It was bittersweet to see it all go back into storage knowing that another amazing week had come to a close but that our next one was lying in patiently in wait until we return next year.

You have put together an exceptional team of professionals that are engaging, personable and fun!!  Their desire to share their craft with our camp families and their sincere concern for others shines through.  We are deeply appreciative of all your efforts and the teams efforts and embrace our partnership.

Chefs Fierce