July 17, 2013

Want to teach children life skills? Send them to Culinary Boot Camp




Each summer, the Community & Technical College's Culinary Arts, Hospitality, Dietetics & Nutrition Division hosts Culinary and Bakery Boot Camps for children ages 11 to 17. These week-long day camps are taught on UAA's campus by a culinary arts faculty member.
 
Participants are instructed in cooking and baking at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. They also are taught kitchen safety and sanitation practices, how to read a recipe, and cooking techniques, not to mention how to make yummy dishes such as hummus with vegetable crudité and mouth-watering baked goods such as muffins and scones. Campers are outfitted in true culinary attire with a chef jacket, toque, and apron, which they must wear each day they attend camp.
 

Ayana Duncan
Ayana Duncan adds raspberry baking
jam to her cheesecake.
“Just as people need to know how to read and write and think critically, they need to know basic cooking skills to nourish and care for themselves,” said Tim Doebler, the division’s director. “Childhood obesity in this country is a crisis. Our industrialized food chain has led to the rise of a generation of 'reheaters' who don’t know how to process food in its raw state. Culinary Boot Camp teaches children skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”
 
If your appetite has been whetted regarding Culinary Boot Camp and you want to find out more, visit www.uaa.alaska.edu/culinarybootcamp.

See what our campers are saying about why they came to camp and what inspired them to cook.

“I came to learn how to bake better. I like to bake. It’s fun.” -Serena Inoue, 14

“(I came) so I could learn new recipes other than mac 'n' cheese and camping food. I wanted food I could easily make at home. My whole family cooks—both parents and my aunt and uncle cook. I am planning to volunteer at Pioneer Home and bake with one of the residents there who loves to cook.” -Thomas Grant, 15

“I enjoy baking. I did the beginner’s one (camp). It’s fun. My older sister did the beginner’s camp a year before me. (I like) challenging myself. I like to do different things rather than the same thing.” -Lauren Espeland, 12

“I was into baking cakes. My mom saw the class. So, we tried it, and I liked it. I did the beginner’s class last year. I like Buddy on Carlo’s Bakery (aka TLC’s ‘Cake Boss’). He’s from Hoboken. He’s a guy on TV who makes cakes, and I thought it was really cool." -Nikira Lane, 11

“I’m into cooking and wanted to bake. I thought it would be fun. My mom found it (the class) for me. When I was young, I helped my grandma cook. I started making breakfast, then dinner, and moved to desserts.”  -Ayana Duncan, 13

Story by Kirstin Olmstead