The kids are taking charge in the kitchen this summer.


At the University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College, aspiring chefs will have the opportunity to learn the basics, as well as advanced techniques, in cooking and baking in the 2021 Youth and Baking Culinary Camp.


For years, UA Pulaski Tech has been offering the Culinary Camps, which have been producing some top chefs. The successful program continues to attract the notice of young students and their parents.


In total, the college offers six courses spread out across four weeks. In Week 1 on June 28-July 2, campers can take Culinary 1, Cake 1 or Baking 1. In Week 2 on July 12-16, the options expand, giving campers the option to take Culinary 1, Cake 1, Cake 2 and Baking 1. Week 3 on July 19-23 has even more camp options: Culinary 1, Culinary 2, Cake 1, Cake 2, and Baking 1. The final week, held on July 26-30, features Culinary 1, Cake 1, Baking 1 and Baking 2.


According to UA Pulaski Tech community education coordinator Kristin Howell, “Camps are designed to teach children the fundamentals of cooking and baking.   Taught by professional chefs, each camp focuses on baking, cake techniques and design, or culinary skills.  At the heart of it all, camps promote fun while allowing the camper to gain confidence in the kitchen!”


“By working in the kitchen, kids learn how to explore their senses and expand their palates, make healthy choices, increase levels of responsibility, and grow basic math, science, and communication skills. This unique and fun approach leads to confident campers who earn a sense of accomplishment in skills that go far beyond the kitchen doors.”


These progressive camps provide a strong foundation for students wishing to develop their culinary skills. In Baking Camp 1, they learn the basics of baking breads, pastries and cakes. By the time they take Baking Camp 2, they are ready to build their techniques and learn how to make macarons and mousse.


This scaling-up of skills is present in all of the camps, and helps them develop more advanced skills. Campers who participate in Cake Camp 1 will learn to bake, fill and frost cupcakes and do celebration cakes. They learn how to do buttercream piping and fondant designs, which will be further developed in Cake Camp 2, which challenges students to create a tiered fondant cake. In Culinary Camp 1, students learn the stations of a classical kitchen, getting a crash course in how to use a knife, different cooking methods and how to make desserts. Knife skills are crucial in Culinary Camp 2, and students will continue to hone those while learning more cooking and baking fundamentals.


As the state begins the process of slowly opening back up in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, kids will certainly be looking for fun activities during the summer. The Youth Baking and Culinary Camp definitely ticks that box off.


It is the perfect chance for your kid to have a fun time and learn skills that will be invaluable for the rest of their life. “Campers bond in the kitchen with their friends and instructors, while growing skills, and creating delicious food and memories that will last a lifetime,” Howell says.


Camps will be held Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. through 12 p.m. at the UA-PTC Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute in Little Rock. The camps are for children age 10 to 17.


Each camp costs $250 per week. Click here to register for a camp. (UPDATE: The camps have sold out of spots.)


Campers are selected on a first-come, first-served basis during registration. There is a waiting list for camps, which you can be added to by picking a particular camp on the registration page.


In the fall of 2021, UA Pulaski Tech will release information on the 2022 Youth Baking and Culinary Camps.


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