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Inspiring future chefs one child at a time

By Dawn Burleigh

dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com

 

Youths were up to the challenge this week during the third annual Summer Youth Cooking Camp hosted by Orange County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

Camp kicked off with the children ages from 8-14 listening to a chef Armon, co owner of Luigi’s Italian Restaurant in Orange speak about how he discovered the joys of cooking.

“The chef was nice,” Saylor Moreau, 10, said. “I like his story about how he grew up and became a chef.’

Moreau said she is inspired to become chef now.

“This is my second time at the camp,” Moreau said. “I like making things and how to cook in the kitchen without Mom.”

Moreau also experienced artichokes for the first time on Monday.

“We made spinach artichoke rollovers,” Moreau said. “I loved it.”

Moreau also said she has always enjoyed cooking and has fond memories of cooking in the kitchen with her grandmother.

The camp also provided new experiences for 4-H members who volunteered during the event.

William Caffey, 13, was a helper during the cooking extravaganza.

“This has been a great experience to learn what goes together,” Caffey said.

The camp has grown quickly over the years, with only 15 participants the first year and 60 participants this year.

“It takes a great deal of manpower for the event,” County Extension Agent – Family and Consumer Sciences Fallon Foster said. “I wish we could have more people, but we need more volunteers.”

Foster said the youth volunteering as helpers are also involved in 4-H.

“It helps teach them leadership skills,” Foster said. “It also shows the different aspects of 4-H.

Summer Youth Cooking Camp gave children a hands-on experience to learn how to prepare and cook meals, while learning kitchen skills, proper sanitation, menu development and nutrition.