Thursday, July 24, 2014

So Long! Farewell!

Aaaaand... that's a wrap!

No, not that kind of wrap... a wrap on the SoFAB Kids Culinary Camp for Summer 2014! From all of the camp staff, we would like to send out a HUGE thank you to the generous organizations, dedicated parents, and the amazing little campers that we were so lucky to work with this summer! Also, thank you to all of our readers for sticking with us throughout our adventures in the kitchen.

Although camp has come to a close for this year, we will of course be back and better than ever for Summer 2015. Make sure to check back with SoFAB next spring for registration! In the meantime, we hope you'll join us as we excitedly count down to the opening of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum at its new location on September 29, 2014! We can't wait to open our doors and offer the residents and visitors of New Orleans a new way to celebrate its culture through one of our favorite things - food, of course!

Thank you again for your support, and see y'all in September! :)

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Wrap picture retrieved from: 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 5: July 14-18

 Monday, July 14 - Day 1

Holy moly - how is it Week 5 already?! These weeks of culinary camp have just flown by - we can't wait for what this final week of cooking adventures has in store for us! To make sure we could all get to know each other right off the bat, we started the day by making macaroni necklace nametags.

Next, we had our first lesson with Miss Sam, where we learned the key to success at camp - just follow CHEFS (see below)!

If we follow these basic culinary camp rules, our journey to chefdom will be nothing but smooth sailing!

Next up, we put our CHEFS knowledge to the test with our first challenge in the kitchen - chopping! Once we found out what we were making today (veggie quesadillas with homemade guacamole, yum!), we got straight to chopping spinach, bell peppers, and mushrooms.

*Actual quote from camper whilst chopping vegetables: "I really hope we're not going to eat these - I don't eat spinach or mushrooms, blech!" Stay tuned to find out what happened during lunchtime... :)*

Meanwhile, some of us got the chance to help prepare the guacamole with Miss Zeynep! We got to work with a type of food that was new for some of us - avocados [aguacates]! Once we got rid of those pesky pits, we scooped out the rest of the avocado to mash up for our guacamole.

We also cut up some tomato to add to our guac! And so began the weekly camp tomato debate...

What do you think?

While Miss Paige and Miss Zeynep pressed our quesadillas inside, we had time for a Mexican-themed game of Four Corners. Some of us tried to trick Miss Carolyn and skip the exercises, but, alas, our plans were foiled! I don't think we'll be trying that kind of funny business again!

Lunges are a great way to strengthen our hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles! We could do them alllll day!

But, as much as we love our lunges, we couldn't wait to get back inside for these quesadillas deliciosas and our homemade guacamole!

*Update on our veggie-fearing friend from earlier today: not a crumb left in sight on that plate! Hmm, interesting... very interesting indeed :)*

Awesome job, chefs-to-be! Could you imagine a better day at camp than this one? Well just wait till tomorrow, when the real games begin...

Clever tomato image retrieved from:

 Tuesday, July 15 - Day 2

Welcome to Day 2, campers and loyal blog followers! To start off the day, Miss Sam introduced a new game plan for the week - the SoFAB Kids Culinary Camp Games, to be exact! We found out that we would spend the rest of the week working in teams with our fellow chefs to earn points and aspire to SoFAB stardom. Once we split up into teams, Miss Paige gave us the instructions for our first challenge: deciding on a team name and mascot and designing our very own flag!

We had to decide on a team name and mascot that was somehow related to food or cooking - it was our first chance to put our heads together and work as a team!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we introduce the competitors in the first ever Kids Culinary Camp Games! Here is the first of our four teams.

Team Name: The Fruit Salad
Team Mascot: Uh... fruit salad, what else?!

Team Name: The Fruit Chefs
Team Mascot: An apple with a chef's hat - very clever, FC's!
*AWARD: Best Team Flag*

Team Name: Chefs
Team Mascot: A chef. Obviously.

Team Name: The Red Hot Jalapeños
Team Mascot: A fiery jalapeño - this team is bringin' the heat!*AWARD: Best Team Name* 

Before continuing our adventures in the Games, we took a break from the competition for a nutrition lesson with Miss Sam! We learned about the MyPlate system, which helps us to choose the right food groups and portion sizes to keep us healthy.

Here's a breakdown of what your plate should look like at breakfast, lunch, and dinner:
During our lesson today, some of us realized that we should be eating a LOT more fruits and veggies than we thought! A couple of us were also concerned about where exactly our favorite snack foods would fit on our plate - where am I supposed to put Cheetos? Or, more importantly, candy?! We learned that treats like these are fine every so often, but most of the time we want to fill our plate with more nutritious choices. For more information about MyPlate, check out the website above!

After our MyPlate lesson, we put our new knowledge to the test with a few riveting rounds of Food Groups Bingo! Although this was one of our first chances to earn points for our teams, we were a little distracted - all of this talk about food groups was making us reaaaalllly hungry!

Luckily, we soon headed into the kitchen to get started cooking our lunch for the day - vegetable macaroni and cheese! We were excited to add some nutritious carrots and broccoli to one of our favorite dishes.

While Team Fruit Salad stayed inside to boil the macaroni and prepare a scrumptious cheesy sauce, the remaining three teams headed outside for a little physical activity with Miss Carolyn! Today, we played a new game called Avoid the Octopus. One person started as the hungry octopus looking for a filling lunch - the rest of us were fish trying to swim to safety! Ahh, look how calm and content we look playing this game...


With our (human) stomachs grumbling, we headed back inside to taste our creation for the day. Who knew that adding a couple of crunchy veggies could take plain old mac 'n' cheese to a whole new level?

The veggie mac 'n' cheese wasn't the only thing to celebrate today! From all of the counselors and campers at the SoFAB Kids Camp, we would like to wish our favorite camp director, Miss Jennie, a very happy birthday! Thank you for all that you do for us, Miss Jennie - when we're all famous chefs and receiving awards for our culinary excellence , you'll definitely be the first one that we'll thank :)
And now, we will announce the team standings after the first day of the SoFAB Games:

In 3rd place, with 5 points, we have the Fruit Chefs - not to be confused with the Chefs, who also earned 5 points today!
Just inching into 2nd place, with 6 points, we have the Fruit Salad team!
And, scorching their way all the way to the top, the Red Hot Jalapeños slide into 1st place with 7 points! Don't get too confident though, Jalapeños - the other three teams still have plenty of time to catch up during the rest of the week :)

MyPlate image retrieved from:

 Wednesday, July 16 - Day 3

Who's ready for Day 3? Our first activity for the day was to assemble and decorate our very own recipe books! We will add the recipes that we use at camp throughout the week so that we can make them on our own at home!

Next up, we found out what we were making today - Creole chicken jambalaya! We were so excited to learn how to make this traditional New Orleans dish. Before we hit the kitchen, we played an intense game of New Orleans Jeopardy with Miss Sam!

Q: Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans uses 35,000 pounds of bananas each year to prepare which traditional dessert? A: Bananas foster, yum!

Ah, back to the promised land - the kitchen! To start off, we chopped onions, celery, and bell peppers. These three vegetables make up the "Trinity" found in classic New Orleans dishes such as gumbo, étouffée, and - of course - jambalaya!

The Trinity!

While Team Fruit Chefs whipped up a mean batch of jambalaya back in the kitchen, the remaining three teams headed outside to play our most popular camp game - Chefs and Waiters! Here we are all smiles pretending to be waiters/waitresses and stir a pot! 

Look at this amazing jambalaya we made today! Isn't it gorgeous? Alright alright, you caught me. Although we forgot to take a picture of our jambalaya from today, we can assure you that ours looked - and tasted! - even more scrumptious than this beautiful picture. We can't wait to try this at home!

And finally, here are the updated team standings in the SoFAB Kids Culinary Camp Games:

In 3rd place, with 11 points, we have the fabulous Fruit Chefs!
In a tie for 2nd place, with 12 points, we have the classy Chefs and the fantastic Fruit Salad!
And, in 1st place, with a whopping 17 points, we have the Red Hot Jalapeños!

Looks like the jalape
ños are burnin' up the scoreboard! Will the other three teams rally to take down their fiery competitors? Check back with us tomorrow to find out! :)

Jambalaya image retrieved from:
Trinity image retrieved from: 

Thursday, July 17 - Day 4

Merhaba! That means "hello" in Turkish! And why, you might ask, am I greeting you in Turkish? It's because today we had a Mediterranean-themed meal - chicken and hummus pita pockets! Before we hit the kitchen, we had a lesson about Turkish culture and cuisine with Miss Zeynep, an expert on all things Turkish.

During the lesson, Miss Zeynep taught us the Turkish words for the ingredients that we would use later in the day. Then, we put our memory skills to the test with this matching game! How many words did you remember?

The matching game was our first chance of the day to earn points for our team in the SoFAB Games! We all knew that "limon" in Turkish means "lemon" in English - it was just all of those other Turkish words that had us stumped!

While we worked on our Turkish skills with Miss Zeynep, the other counselors were preparing for our next activity! Hmm, what could these yummy ingredients be for?

Looks like it's time for... SNACK WARS! The stakes were high in the fourth and final installment of this wildly popular culinary camp competition!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we introduce our snacktastic new animal friends! Here's Ranana the Raisin Banana!

Say hello to Sweet Dolphin, who lives in a giant cereal bowl!

Time to chill out with Snowman Joe, who lives in the North Pole! Think he knows Santa?
*Award: Overall Best*

Look, it's the rare Flying Bananacorn in its natural habitat!
*Award: Best Presentation*

Meet Jabel!
*Award: Best Name*

Flutter comes equipped with his/her very own snack bar - how convenient!

Wow, check out that wild Zabacka!
*Award: Best Teamwork*

Did you see that Running Tiger? It was running so fast I almost missed it!

This is Bouncer the Bunny, whose favorite activity is - you guessed it - bouncing!

Poco the Giraffe says hello! Wait, can giraffes even talk? Hmm...
*Award: Most Creative*

After recovering from the excitement of Snack Wars, we headed into the kitchen for a hummus-making demonstration with Miss Zeynep (check out our easy homemade hummus recipe on our Recipes page)! We also peeled and chopped carrots and cucumbers to stuff in our chicken pita pockets - yum!

While the Chefs helped to prepare our nutritious pita pocket lunches, the rest of us took a break to play Refrigerator Tag outside! In this game, we ran to one corner based on how we felt about a food - our options were "Love it", "It's okay", "Don't like it", or "Never tried it". We found out that there was one vegetable that most of us didn't like...
How could you dislike a vegetable this cute?! We'll definitely have to try this one again :)

After all that talk about food, our stomachs sure were rumbling! Luckily, these wholesome and delicious pita pocket sandwiches were waiting for us inside. Thank you to the Chefs for lending a special hand in the kitchen today! 

And now, we reveal the team standings after the third day of the SoFAB Kids Culinary Camp Games! Those Red Hot Jalapeños are still blazing ahead! But, with a three-way tie for second place, anything could happen! Check back with us tomorrow, loyal blog readers, to see which team will be crowned the top camp chefs :)
Brussels sprouts image retrieved from:

Friday, July 18 - Day 5

Welcome, one and all, to the final day of Week 5 - and, not to mention, the final day of the SoFAB Kids Culinary Camp 2014! Although our time together was running out, we still had one more day to make some delectable dishes and marvelous memories together. First, we sat down to decorate our chef hats (that Miss Paige painstakingly assembled for the 5th week in a row) for the graduation ceremony later!

We also found out what we were cooking today - in honor of the famous New Orleans dessert, we were making Bananas Foster French toast! As you can see, we were all very enthusiastic about this particular lunch!

Before getting down to business with our Bananas Foster, we had time for a quick Friday treat - Ants on a Log! All you need to make this fun and nutritious snack are a few sticks of celery, a dollop of peanut butter, and a handful of raisins.

Look at those impeccably sliced bananas! Take that, Brennan's Restaurant!

Even with our jam-packed schedule today, we made sure to take some time to thank our fantastic sponsors! Thanks to their generous donations, we were able to have an awesome (and delicious!) week at camp. Thank you so much to Domino Foods, the New Orleans Rotary Fund, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation!

Next up, we played an Alphabet Food Race game with Miss Sam! In this game, we had to name a fruit and vegetable for every letter of the alphabet. But there was a twist - we had to try to think of fruits/veggies that the other teams wouldn't choose! Here were some of our more exotic answers:

D stands for dragon fruit!
F stands for fig!

G stands for guava!

K stands for kale!


With the help of Miss Paige and Miss Zeynep, the Red Hot Jalapeño team helped to caramelize the bananas and flip lots and lots of French toast. Phew, who knew cooking for 20 of our hungry peers could be this exhausting?!

cute [kyoot]:
adjective, cut-er, cut-est.
pleasingly pretty; appealing and delightful; charming; precious.

To distract ourselves from the mouthwatering smells of Bananas Foster AND French toast (a dream come true!), the rest of us played a couple of games onstage with Miss Carolyn! In this game of "Who's the Chef?", one person had to guess which one of us was the Secret Chef. We had to get pretty sneaky!

Next, we played a game called Huggy Bear, which allowed us to show our love for all of the friends we made at camp this week :)

Although we had tons of fun today, there was one question that we just couldn't get off of our minds all day - who would be crowned the champs of the SoFAB Kids Culinary Camp games?! Drumroll please...

In a landslide win, with an unbelievable 49 points, the Red Hot Jalapeños took the cake! A big congratulations to our winning team and to our other three teams for their admirable participation in the Games! Throughout the week, we all showed great teamwork, perseverance, and all-around positive attitudes. Thank you all so much for making the 2014 SoFAB Games an incredible success :)

We're ready for our close-ups! After enjoying a delicious lunch, we rushed to get ready for our culinary camp graduation. Hand over that diploma, Miss Jennie!

Aren't we a fine-looking group of chefs? With our chef hats donned and our recipe books in tow, we posed for one final picture to capture this shining moment on our road to chefhood! (While you can have this picture for free, please know that we do charge for autographs.)

And with that, the SoFAB camp staff wrapped up their fifth and final week of culinary camps! Parents, we would like to thank you for sharing your wonderful kids with us this summer; we wish you many happy adventures in the kitchen with your newly certified sous chefs. Loyal blog readers, we want to say thank you for sticking with us throughout all of our camp shenanigans - we hope you enjoyed the ride! And finally, to our campers - thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your enthusiasm, flexibility, and fantastic energy throughout the summer. We so enjoyed laughing and learning with you, and we wish you the best of luck in your future culinary endeavors! Au revoir, petits chefs [Goodbye, little chefs]! :) 

Dragonfruit image retrieved from: 
Fig image retrieved from:
Guava image retrieved from:
Kale image retrieved from:
"Cute" definition retrieved from: