I am so excited to share these images as I know that it was an amazing experience for our daughter Addison. She is almost 11 and has loved cooking and baking since she was able to talk and walk. Mostly we encouraged her to have use of the kitchen when we could supervise, introduce her to restaurants and new foods when possible, and just give her the fundamental understanding that food is life. While watching Master Chef, and all of her favorites on PBS (since we don’t have cable or satellite :)! what we feel has been a richer, educational experience) – America’s Test Kitchen, Jacques Pepin, Martha Stewart Bakes, Patti’s Mexican Kitchen, old episodes of Julia Child, and many many more, she has learned to appreciate the love for cooking and food and creating. And I honestly cannot say I blame her…she gets it honestly ;)!
For several years, she has asked, then bugged, then begged to do some sort of cooking class. But not just any cooking class, true hands on experience, more than an hour how-to. So after contacting our favorite restaurants in Champaign, Drew Starkey of Bacaro replied right away and was enthusiastic to give her this experience. And it was SO cool. And he was AMAZING with her…patient and kind, and most importantly skilled with teaching and cooking with a 10 year old.
First, we went to meet him and discuss their plan for learning (his and Addison’s :)!)
Then came “camp” week. She showed up at this award winning restaurant ready to learn, admittedly a little nervous, but excited!
Drew sat down with her and talked to her about the plan for the week, the recipes they might accomplish, the skills they would learn, including kitchen and restaurant lingo…which honestly I thought was pretty cool!
I hung out in the dining room on my laptop but also knew I had to document this experience as it is pretty unique in general but an awesome experience for her!
Each day they worked on different things, stock, soup, kitchen terminology, where and how to handle items in the kitchen, etc. I know the best part for Addison besides the learning and cooking, was the camaraderie with Drew (head chef, owner) and Lindsey (pastry chef) – blaring T-Swift and talking to her like an equal, never talking down to her! She hopes to continue to learn more, add to her recipe collection and knowledge notebook :)….”best camp ever!”
And if you haven’t already been, I highly recommend Friday lunch at Bacaro (downtown Champaign), their delicious evening meals, and best of all, their amazing tasting menus – you will not be disappointed!

(some of these images are taken on my iPhone) 2016-09-17_0001.jpg

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