University hosts middle school chefs with July cooking camp

Posted on Jul 19 2018 - 3:31pm by Miranda Crosby

This year’s Rebel Chefs Cooking Camp at the Institute of Child Nutrition aims to teach rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders advanced techniques and fundamentals of cooking and baking, kitchen safety, food preparation, local produce and nutrition. 

“Cooking is my passion and I’ve been doing it for a while so I am very excited about the camp” said Denver Bridwell, instructor of The Rebel Chef Cooking Camp, and line cook and ice cream maker at Saint Leo.

Students spend time in the classroom and kitchen each day. They will learn about food and kitchen safety and eventually prepare their own recipes.

This week, the students prepared rich, moist homemade chocolate brownies from scratch using fresh ingredients. Instead of using margarine, students used unsalted butter, semi-sweet chocolate morsels, baking powder, vanilla extract and all-purpose flour.

All students, whether residential or commuting, get to experience engagement with University of Mississippi professors or certified education professionals to discover their passions, explore interest more deeply and build relationships.

Students will also visit community markets and gardens to discuss the benefits of eating local and eating in season. The class will conclude with a luncheon for parents and guardians prepared by the Rebel Chefs.

“I am most excited about learning how to make blondes, I don’t know what they are but they are going to be fun,” said Elliot Clarke of Lafayette Middle School.

Rebels Chef Cooking Camp is sponsored through the Office of Pre-College Programs. The camp holds 15 students max, and in order to attend the camp one must be in good academic standing at the time of admission. The participant’s regularly-attended schools can be public, private, parochial or even home school.

If a child is a resident of Lee, Pontotoc, or Union counties, you are eligible for a scholarship made available through the CREATE foundation. Scholarships cover the entire cost of attending select camps. Each individual may qualify for only one scholarship per summer.

CREATE is a foundation that has placed emphasis on four program areas: regional capacity building, endowment building, financial administration, and targeted grant making. CREATE’s mission is to improve the quality of life for the people of the Northeast Mississippi region.

“I love The Rebels Chef Cooking Camp because the students get to be hands-on the entire time, and at the end of the week they get to cook for their parents and they always look forward to that part,” said Amy Goodin, Director of Non-Credit Summer Programs at Ole Miss.

The camp runs July 15-27 and costs $700 for residential participants and $400 for commuters. Included in the cost is high-quality instruction and supervision by certified teachers, University faculty, and trained, background-checked undergraduate counselors from the Institute of Child Nutrition. Supplies, lab fees, meals, field trip transportation, and for residential students, supervised housing are included in the cost of attendance.

The Office of Pre-College Programs is contactable at (662) 915-7621. Also there is a schedule of The Rebels Chefs Cooking Camp posted online.


This article was submitted to The Daily Mississippian through an advanced reporting class.