Fourteen adventurous souls were enrolled in the camp Chef for a Week June 10-14th. My 8-year-old grandson, Devon, was among them. As a young aspiring chef in the making, Devon was quite smitten with Chef Philippe when he met him in November for Turkey Carving, and for the second time at Easter Tea in April when Chef Philippe, upon hearing Devon had culinary aspirations, scooped him up to show him the Cooking School kitchen and suggested the summer cooking camp. Devon was hooked and endlessly reminded me about enrolling him in the camp in June. What a fabulous experience for the up and coming young chefs. Each day was a “trip to another country and culinary experience.”
One day, the kids were “brought” to Mexico to try their hand at making beef empanadas with Aji Amarillo and salsa criolla, huevos rancheros and Tres Leches trifle for dessert. Another day, youngsters were taken to the actual kitchen at Gianni’s restaurant to make homemade pizza, potato gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce, and homemade gelato. Chef Eric from the Islander came to the Cooking School to teach students how to make sushi rolls. Children made a variety of sushi rolls on a bamboo rolling mat. To top it off, the children made individual fortune cookies with personalized fortunes. Mine read: “To the best Mimi in the world, I love you!” Of course, it just melted my heart. Devon pleaded, “May we book next year for Chef for a Week, please?”
Another day, Chef Philippe, who exudes fun and learning in the kitchen, featured French fare to the delight of all the children, incorporating some French words into their vocabulary as well. He started with a fresh carrot salad accompanied by chicken cordon bleu. Chef explained the three-stage breading: “flour, then egg, and then bread crumbs.” He also told them that fresh crepes had to accompany any French meal topped with Nutella and strawberries.
The week flew by and the kids were sad to see it come to an end. Chefs Philippe, Shelby, Autumn and Angela ended the week with some awards for the participants. Devon was thrilled with his new grater, oven mitt and dough cutter — very thoughtful and most useful items for the young chefs.
I am a most grateful grandmother, as these seasoned teaching chefs mixed so much positive and fun ingredients into this entire week. When I spoke to other parents and grandparents, we all agreed it was an exhilarating experience for these young chefs. Our kitchens will never be the same to the delight of the lucky siblings and family members who enjoyed the samples brought home for them to try. “Thanks, Gracias, Merci” to all the various places you brought these youngsters to this past week to instill their love of cooking. Our ORC camp adventures didn’t stop there, I can’t help but share the rave reviews on Golf and Discovery…
ORC Golf Camp
Thanks to Director of Instruction Derek Swoboda and ORC Golf Pro Justin Seybeck for taking six aspiring golfers under their wing this past week and teaching them the etiquette of the game, daily course play, motor skills and basic improvement of their skills. The golf professionals made it a fun experience for the children and broke the day up by a midday swim and a lunch break. The pros devised a tic tac toe game to practice the kid’s chipping skills. The “red” team versus the “blue” team – very intense and enjoyable for the youngsters. My grandson, Devon, told me GPS means grip, posture and stance. They all learned how to mark their balls on the green, good sportsmanship, tucking in your shirt, etc. The week ended with an Awards Ceremony where it was clear that each camper had progressed and enjoyed the game of golf.
Reef Discovery Camp
My 12-year-old grandson, Lantz, opted for Reef Discovery Camp this summer. From what he has heard, this camp has been the headliner of all camp offerings and a must summer camp experience. Lantz gave it a try and it exceeded all his expectations! This camp was a week of on and off property adventures. One day was parasailing at Jimmy Johnson’s Big Chill, snorkeling with The Dive Shop, tubing in Islamorada, a visit to Planet Air (a trampoline park). Another day was an up close and personal encounter with dolphins. The camp was awesome, but meeting new friends and jointly experiencing all these fun activities was priceless. They have incorporated learning into these various activities such as going to museums and learning about things you have never done before. Every second of the camp was fun filled.
From a grandparent’s perspective, these camps are great! Drop them off at 8:30 a.m. and pick them up at 4 p.m. Kids are exhausted from being out in the fresh air and sunshine doing fun activities. Pancakes or scrambled eggs are fine for dinner, and you hear about their adventures. After a nice shower, they are ready to call it a day. I was a hero for 2 weeks with little or nothing to do! We all had a wonderful couple of weeks! A sincere thank you to the Culinary, Golf and Recreation Teams for all their help and hard work in making Angelo Marzano and Mack Idoux Tween Tennis joined Nike Tennis and Quickstart as Tennis camp offerings this summer. The kids have an awesome time.