It may be 40 degrees outside, but summer will be here before we know it, and registration for camp is in full swing! If your tween-to-teens have a knack for the culinary, then Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen in South End has just the thing.
Back for its 4th year, Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen Culinary Camp aims to give kids, already exhibiting a passion for cooking, an opportunity to build on their skills in a packed, week-long agenda. Culinary Camp has established daily themes for each day of the week – Carribean, Latin, Baking and Pastry, Southern, and Mediterranean. For Co-Owner, Andrew Wilen, he’s recognized that the caliber of kids they get is increasingly better and more engaged each year, so adding and experimenting with the likes of hummus and chicken shawarma, among others, to their recipe list is a welcome challenge.
“It’s been fun to watch the kids grow and hear from their parents about the skills they’ve developed, and how the kids do their cooking from what they’ve learned from us,” says Wilen.
A sample camp day begins when kids, ranging in age from 7 to 18, get washed up and gather to discuss the plan for the day, including the slated recipes, along with the associated culinary culture if relevant. More than simply following the recipe instructions, seasoned Chefs Gloria and Emily, then teach them how to understand the order and timing of the various dishes they make, as well as how certain spices go together or not, as the case may be.
The food used in Culinary Camp, as well as Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen’s child and adult classes throughout the year, is sourced from local farmers that provide all fresh ingredients. Both Wilen and his wife and co-owner, Alyssa Wilen, believe in making healthy food taste great, which is something they hope to instill in all their students, but particularly the kids that can truly develop into healthy cooks AND eaters throughout their years.
“We’re passionate about using healthy, local and sustainable ingredients to make really good dishes,” enthuses Andrew.
Beyond an affinity for cooking, students often find commonalities in cooking shows among their Camp Culinary peers, all contributing to a fun and creative day in the kitchen that culminates in a finished product that is ready to eat! Kids get to feast on their masterpieces for lunch, as well as take a doggy bag home to their parents. “We think it’s important for the parents to really get a taste of what the kids are doing,” explains Andrew.
Rated the Best Cooking Camp in the City by Charlotte Magazine, this is a can’t miss opportunity for your budding chef! Find them online at http://www.chefalyssaskitchen.com/events/kids-culinary-camp/ for more details and to register!