This Friday, July 14 at 1 p.m. the 4th-6th grade campers from Léman Manhattan Preparatory School will join Chefs Will Frischeisen and Ian Charles to host a pop-up restaurant at Morris Cafe. They are designing a creative menu inspired by the week-long program, which includes lessons in the kitchen along with adventures to green markets, specialty shops and other foodie places.

Downtown Manhattan has become a popular scene for restaurants, which is why Camp Léman’s Culinary Workshop gives potential chefs-in-the-making real world culinary experiences. Their goal is to expand children’s palates as well as increase their awareness regarding nutrition and what goes into food and its preparation.

Each session, the campers develop a menu based on what has inspired them that week. For example, one year during a heat wave, they created a cold menu of poached fish, chilled gazpacho, and homemade stone fruit popsicles.

For this week’s camp, the children have been to Eataly where they bought ingredients to make pasta from scratch, the Teaching Garden on Governors Island where they learned about edible plants and tasted flowers, and Union Square Greenmarket and the Garden of Eden market to purchase ingredients for their restaurant lunch on Friday.

Downtown spoke to a few of the campers about what they’ve enjoyed most so far.

“Making pasta dough by hand was really cool!” said Maia.

“I love that we’re able to create a meal for our parents. It feels like we are running our restaurant. So much fun! I’ve come for three years now and every year is better than the last,” said Eden.

“I liked making pasta and different sauces!” said Lex.

“I like coming in every day and seeing my friends. I look forward to it every day! And if we behave, Chef Will buys us ice cream while we brainstorm our menu,” said Ava.

Nandini, another student, said, “I like being with old friends and also making new friends.”

And Juliet especially liked learning new things, saying, “I’m always looking to cook something new each day.”

Lastly, we talked to Chef Will Frischeisen.

“It’s always a real treat for Chef Ian and me to spend time with these great kids and watch as they develop their culinary ideas and understanding of what goes in to real restaurant style cooking,” he said about the camp.

Léman’s culinary camp brings a lot to the table for these young campers and has the potential to create a positive future for children and the culinary industry. By ending it with a pop-up restaurant, it allows the students’ families to participate and support their journey at this incredible culinary camp.

The next culinary camp is scheduled for 9-13-year-olds and will take place the week of July 24concluding with another pop-up restaurant on July 28. We can’t wait to see what they’re cooking up — this time and the next!

Photos courtesy of Léman Manhattan Preparatory School

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