It’s not every day that a leading restaurant in Manhattan closes its doors so that a group of curious young chefs can take over the kitchen, and we couldn’t have launched our NYC cooking camp in any better place than Society Cafe.
Our culinary adventures in NYC started off with the summer’s freshest flavors as campers joined the incredible culinary team in the Society Cafe kitchen. We soon learned first-hand that food tastes much better when you know your farmers; Chef Christopher Zabita works closely with a number of farmer friends who supply his kitchen with New York’s most fresh and seasonal produce.
This was our very first time in a professional NYC kitchen, so we started our morning learning knife skills and safety tips from Chef Chris and Chef Manny to help keep these young chefs safe during our busy day in the kitchen. Once we’d mastered how to use our paring and chef’s knives, we charged full speed ahead into making the menu for the day: popovers, cavatelli pasta, and seasonal salads packed with fresh and unusual greens.
Campers worked in groups and rotated from station to station where they each had the chance to get hands-on chopping vegetables, herbs, and fruits from the Farmer’s Market with Chef Manny, and measuring and mixing batter for the perfect popovers with Chef Chris. While we waited with anticipation to see how tall our popovers would grow, each camper rolled out their own pasta and learned right alongside the chefs how to work the dough through the pasta maker to create the classic cavatelli shapes.
Once all the dough was ready, campers created their own individual pasta sauce by sauteeing cream, freshly chopped greens, then adding in the cooked pasta to make for a one-of-a-kind lunch dish, ready for the eating!