Food-Focused Summer Camps Slideshow
Butter Beans Food and Garden Camp: New York City
Focused on the farm-to-table experience, this camp teaches kids about growing plants and harvesting food, offers field trips to places like farmers markets and local beehives, helps kids to create their own jams, and lets campers make ice cream from scratch. Fun fact: Campers will produce their own cookbook. For more information, click here.
"Chef’s in the Kitchen" Summer Camp: Annapolis, Md.
Sponsored by Whole Foods, this hands-on camp allows kids to explore international cuisine through regional dishes from across the globe. This year’s theme, "Explore Countries Around The World!," will focus on the cuisines of Italy, Greece, the Bahamas, and Korea — perfect for adventurous eaters. Fun fact: Camp features an Iron Chef cooking competition at the end of each week’s session, complete with a prize for the winner. For more information, click here.
The Kid's Culinary Camp of Vermont: Highgate, Vt.
Starting as a day camp in 1996, this residential summer program is a cut above the rest. Here, future chefs learn all things culinary, from cake decorating to garnishes to cooking methods. Lazy bums, beware: Chef Kelly Dietrich tells us that campers rise at 6:30 a.m. to collect eggs and milk cows, and kids who stay for a few weeks get to make butter and cheese. Constantly evolving, the camp is currently working on its outdoor cooking pavilion.
Excursions include visits to the Cabot Creamery and Ben & Jerry’s factory. Fun fact: Among many other goodies, each camper walks away with their own knife kit, chef uniform, cake decorating kit, and diploma — in addition to some serious kitchen skills and unforgettable memories, of course.
"Every year, we get kids from all over the world," says Dietrich. Attendees range from 11 years old though teens, but the camp has accepted campers as young as 10. Sessions go from one week to three weeks, and for those interested in a career in culinary arts, a four-week intensive is offered. For more details, click here.
Operation C.H.E.F.: Novato, Calif.
This nutrition-focused camp for kids and teens teaches professional culinary techniques in its commercial kitchen, highlights healthy, sustainable food, and provides students with recipes that are accessible and impressive. Ingredients are typically sourced from local farmers markets, and the camp emphasizes maintaining a healthy diet through activities, trips, and games. To accommodate returning campers, the program has created all new recipes for this summer. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and participants ages 6 to 16 are welcome. For more information, click here.
Camp Yummy!: Raleigh, N.C.
Run by Lil’ Chef Kids Cooking Studio, this camp explores the world of food through themed weeks that make us wish we were back in grade school. Examples include "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," which lists menu selections like "Violet Beauregard’s Blueberry Muffins" and "Veruca Salt and Pepper Fries."
A typical day packs in a food science experiment, hands-on cooking, fitness and nutrition education, recipe makeovers or etiquette lessons, plus arts and crafts. The camp is filling up rapidly, so hurry to get your little one a spot. Kindergarten through age 12 will love this program. For more information, click here.
Faraday’s Kids Chef Camp: Austin, Texas
Want your child to get a taste of France without leaving Texas? Look no further. With themed sessions like "Sweet Treats and a Trip to France," campers will create — and devour — chocolate truffles, French bread, and petite croissant sandwiches. Other session themes include "A Trip Around the USA Week," and "All About the Basics Week."
Fun fact: After learning new cooking techniques each day, campers engage in a "Young Chef Challenge" on the last day, where they create their own dishes using the contents of a mystery basket. Open to ages 7 to 15, this program runs four days per session. Click here for more information.
Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs: Cooking 25
Offering courses for middle school and high school students, this program gives young food lovers the opportunity to prepare multiple dishes daily, learn skills like mise en place and plate presentation, and expand their palates with flavors from around the world. Perfect for teens, the camps focus on recipes that use fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Both half-day and full day programs are available. For more information, click here.
Pali Adventures: Culinary Institute: Running Springs, Calif.
What do Polynesian meatballs, panko-crusted veggies with teriyaki dipping sauce, and five-cheese corn quesadillas have in common? They are all par for the course at this hands-on camp where kids will create everything from appetizers to dessert. Themes include Southern Buffet, Chinese Dinner, and Classic Sunday Brunch, among others. Taught by culinary experts, this camp is intended for ages 9 to 16. For details, click here.
Jacada Travel Gourmet Series: Worldwide
Want to bask in the lap of luxury while indulging in the delicious cuisine of exotic locales? Jacada is at your service. Destinations include South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Peru, and a multi-country South American tour. Fun fact: Trips can be customized to fit the traveler’s needs and preferences. These luxe getaways are perfect for the workaholic food lover who needs to be pampered — and is able to shell out serious cash. For details, click here.
Access Trips: Morocco Culinary & Cultural Tour: Morocco
Dying to learn the secrets of authentic Moroccan cooking? This program will not only teach you how to make local specialties, but also immerse you in the culture through day trips to villages. Fun fact: The tour provides outings to Moroccan homes for guests to visit with families for tea. For more information, click here.
Ramekins Culinary Retreat: Sonoma, Calif.
Don’t miss the three new culinary retreats located in California Wine Country. These events include gourmet meals and wine pairings, tours of Sonoma farms and vineyards, and dinners at top restaurants like the French Laundry and Étoile Restaurant. Fun fact: Guests leave with a personalized chefs coat, French spoon, and chef’s knife. The Sonoma French Retreat takes place in mid-August, the Epicurean Retreat in October, and the Wine Country Harvest Retreat in late October. For details, click here.