More About Yes, Chef! Culinary Camp

The Foundation for Culinary Arts (FFCA), formerly Kendall College Trust, initiated Culinary Camp in the summer of 2016 as a week-long, immersive overnight camp that brought together promising students from under-resourced, underserved communities. The program is designed to broaden campers’ horizons in culinary, culture, and community, inviting campers to spend one week bonding with students from other schools while learning valuable career skills. Classes are taught by our esteemed culinary instructors, an unparalleled experience for students with an interest in the Culinary Arts. Throughout the curriculum, the instructor weaves in cultural correlations to the food being prepared.

COVID-19 made the FFCA create a way to safeguard against future disruptions while still providing valuable opportunities for the youth in Chicago. To that end, FFCA pivoted to a virtual platform in the Summer 2021. The virtual camp will continue to honor its three pillars: culinary, community, culture in the following ways.

  • Host live-stream, on-line instructional modules taught by industry experts
  • Provide technique videos as additional support materials for students
  • Instructors provide feedback during class as well as through homework assignments
  • Foster a community of like-minded individuals through discussion groups and interaction with their peers
  • Provide virtual tours
  • Host panel discussions and Q&As with city luminaries
  • Host virtual field trips to learn more about sustainability, food ways and cultural culinary traditions
  • And, at the end of each day, the campers’ class instruction and activities lead up to a dinner for their family each night of camp

COVID has been limiting—but as a small organization, we are inherently flexible and thus see this as an opportunity to expand our reach and provide valuable, educational opportunities to a broader audience.

The FFCA is proud to partner with Chicago Public School (CPS), Careers Through Culinary Arts Program of Chicago (C-CAP) and The Chopping Block. The FFCA knows bright futures begin with an education, and we are dedicated to providing funding and dynamic programming to foster the industry leaders of tomorrow.

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What Skills Will Campers Learn

Campers will learn a variety of necessary and essential skills which vary by the type of camp provided, but will include the following:

  • Introductory knife skills
  • Kitchen terminology
  • Nutrition fundamentals
  • Kitchen safety and sanitation
  • Foundational cooking skills, based on camp topics, which may include:
    • meat fabrication
    • baking basics
    • cooking from scratch
  • Cooking methods:
    • stock
    • pastry
    • sauces
    • fresh pasta
    • pie crust
  • And much more!

Reviews From Campers

“It was such a great experience. I had so much fun and learned a lot. I actually won a performance award on the first day. It had been such a great experience for me and I will continue to use all of the great skills and techniques that I have learned and use them in my daily life. Thank you so much for this opportunity!!!” – Isaiah

“The chef instructor was organized, she waited for us if we were falling behind,  helpful on how to substitute a certain ingredient if we ever ran out, she kept us engaged by asking us questions about our food interests or questions about the lesson. After doing this program it reminded me why I love being passionate about food and cooking.”  – Ulises

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Camp Scholarship Application

Currently enrolled Chicago Public High School students whose family income falls within the definition of “Economically Disadvantaged”, as defined by CPS, may apply for a scholarship to attend the Yes, Chef! Culinary Camp by clicking the button below.