Fantasy Camp for Cooks


You’ve heard of rock and roll fantasy camps where aging boomers go to dust off their Dionysian rebel dreams and jam with classic rock legends. There are the fantasy sports camps, where 20 years and 40 pounds is never a barrier to living out big-league dreams.

If you had three wishes…

For those of us who dream of running a kitchen, who fall asleep counting Michelin stars and long to wear chef’s whites and slip-proof clogs; we get our own fantasy camps.

Better than a Harvard Law degree?

The hallowed halls (and kitchens) of the Culinary Institute of America are as good a place as any to indulge dreams of a culinary education. The CIA has vast offerings of intensive, hands-on training in cooking fundamentals or culinary and baking specialties. Classes are taught by the college’s faculty at the Hudson Valley campus, with satellite programs in Napa Valley and San Antonio. If you can’t get to the Boot Camp, the college sells the Best of Culinary Boot Camp podcasts.

Rubbing shoulders with celebrity chefs

Each fall, the French Culinary Institute plays host to the annual New York Culinary Experience. The two days are filled with master classes, workshops, and discussions that offer ample opportunity for mingling with culinary heroes, and this camp has them. The lineup of chefs, restaurateurs, and industry insiders includes Daniel Boulud (DANIEL, DB Bistro Moderne), Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Andre Soltner (Lutece), chocolatier Jacques Torres, and nutrition expert-author Marion Nestle.

Take over a celebrated restaurant kitchen

Tom Douglas practically invented Northwest cuisine with his Seattle restaurant empire, radio and television appearances, and cookbooks. Once each summer he corrals the region’s other culinary luminaries for a week of hands-on instruction, chefing, and culinary exploration. Participating this summer are Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of definitive baking texts like The Cake Bible and Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, charcuterie artisan Armandino Batali (yes, Mario’s father), and pretty much every other James Beard award-winner in that part of the country.

How will you be spending your summer vacation? GrownUp Camps has a searchable database of culinary programs worldwide where you can live the fantasy.


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6 Responses to Fantasy Camp for Cooks

  1. We stumbled over here by a different web page and thought I should check things out.
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    to looking at your web page repeatedly.

  2. Brad says:

    Cool, that would be an amazing experience. Thanks for the info.

  3. Janice says:

    Culinary camp. Cheesy. Intentionally punny?
    The Batalis are a cooking family- sister Gina took over the charcuterie business for their retiring dad.

  4. sam says:

    Sounds thrilling, though it could be a bit cheesey.
    Semi-related: Armandino Batali is a charcuterie artisan unto himself. His Salumi brand does some fascinating stuff including a mole salami and the only culatello available in the states (the imports are illegal, due to a rustic curing process along the Po River

  5. Wow! Nice Post!Really Liked it, Thanks for sharing this information 😀

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