Every kid loves to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty – especially the IMA Campers! For another year, the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s summer camp programing brought a variety of opportunities for young artists to explore including clay, gardens, street art, animation, and food! (Our favorite!)
Throughout our blog we often talk about how food is art, and the campers of the IMA ‘Looks Good Enough to Eat’ camp were able to experience it firsthand. Similar to last year’s ‘Art of Taste’ camp, the campers gathered in the Sutphin Fountain Room to test their chef skills – even Chef Sam’s children were there to get in on the action!
Chef Sam Merenda, executive chef of Kahn’s Catering, led the program. To begin the program, each of our campers were given a chef’s hat to become executive chefs for the day. Following, our chefs took a tour of our café kitchen to see the café in action. Chef Sam showed them the kitchen prep area where we prepare meals for the café as well as use the space to prepare for our events as well, and our pantry where dry goods are stored. While Chef Sam discussed food service, he also discussed food safety. In our dishwashing area the chefs learned about sanitation and the importance of keeping the kitchen and our utensils clean. Our chefs then washed their hands to get ready to work.
As every great chef knows, food is art but also requires etiquette to enjoy. Did you know there is a proper way to consume a bowl of soup? There is! Chef Sam demonstrated and discussed other elements of dining etiquette such as place settings and encouraged our small chefs to set the table for their parents when they got home.
To start the hands-on activity portions of the session, chefs learned about composition involving shape, color, and texture. These three elements are important components when we create our menus and when a chef plates a meal. It is well known that we eat with our eyes first – meaning if something doesn’t look good, we likely won’t be enticed to eat it. Chef Sam showed the chefs a plated dessert and talked about its composition so they had a better understanding.
Once they explored this element, chefs were welcomed to paint using a variety of food-based edible paints created in our Kahn’s Catering kitchen. Fruits, vegetables, and spices were used to create purees for the colors green, yellow and red that the young chefs painted with. Several landscape paintings were made using the edible paints as a medium.
What fun would a foodie camp be if there wasn’t something to eat? The fun didn’t stop at painting. The chefs also had the opportunity to plate (and devour) their own desserts! Chef Sam showed campers how to properly frost a cupcake and demonstrated ways to decorate. There were several fruits prepared to top off white iced chocolate cupcakes and a variety of sprinkles as well.
The chefs were very creative with this plating – and very proud of their work! Everyone enjoyed eating their cupcakes and were able to take them home if they preferred.