Youth Culinary Program (Grades 5-8)

Summer Youth Culinary Program is a week-long, full-day program that educates students in grades 5-8 in food safety, food preparation and the culinary arts. Participants use Manchester Community College’s and Great Path Academy’s state-of-the-art culinary labs to strengthen their skills in the culinary arts.

Youth Culinary Program: Intro to the Culinary Arts

In this fun, hands-on, experience-based course, students will explore and strengthen their culinary skills. Under the guidance of experienced and professionally trained chef and certified culinary arts teacher, students will cook diverse dishes each day and celebrate their skills by treating their families to a buffet on Friday. While cooking independently and in small groups, students will learn and practice baking, sautéing, frying, whisking, folding and stirring, and knife skills, just to name a few. Our Culinary Arts teachers will explain kitchen safety and sanitation, menu development, principles of hospitality, plating, garnishing and more. Students of all culinary skill levels are accepted, but students must be able to follow directions and safety practices in the kitchen. If your young chef has a passion for cooking and baking, join us for this unique program!

  • Grades: 5-8 (The youngest students must have completed 5th grade).
  • Students must wear slip resistant shoes.
  • Please see the current summer catalog for prices, dates, times and other information.
  • Students must be able to follow directions and be safe in the kitchen. Misbehaving students will be dismissed without a refund.

*Please see more culinary program options and dates in the summer catalog (available mid-March)*

New for Summer 2019!
Advanced Level: Summer Farm Fresh Cooking (Grades 5- 8)
June 24-28, 2019  | Monday-Friday | $375 | 9 AM-3 PM
Enroll in our newest culinary class modeled from the farm-to-table culinary philosophy. Chef Rachael, an award winning natural food chef, will be instructing this class. Travel back in time for a true, from scratch, farm-to-chef experience. Fresh, summer produce will provide the base for planning and preparing the savory, fresh meals: the chefs will learn the art of ancient, daily bread and butter making, preserving the summer harvest though jams, jellies and conserves, spice blending and sauce making. The chefs will learn how to create nutritionally balanced snacks and meals out of local vegetables, eggs, meats, and grains! Daily planning sessions will have chefs create menus based on native crops, environmental sustainability and in the process learn how to positively impact our food system through their choices. Chefs will share the fruits of their labor with a daily classroom meal where chefs share their cooking experience of the day while nourishing their bodies and participating in the art of fine dining and table decorum. Join us on our final day for our summer solstice soiree with a chef open house, where chefs will share and families will taste the favorite moments from the week!  Prerequisite: Youth Culinary Institute: Level One. Students must follow directions and be safe in the kitchen.  Misbehaving students will be dismissed from the program.

New for Summer 2019!
Any Level: Baking from Scratch: Breads, Cookies, Pastry & More (Grades 5-8)

July 29-August 2, 2019 | Monday-Friday | $375 | 9AM-3PM
Students will strengthen their baking skills in this unique weeklong culinary experience with a focus on making delectable, professional baked treats. Under the guidance of professional chef and teacher, Chef Josh, students will make everything from scratch, work in teams, learn how to work safe and sanitary, measure, scale and be creative making professional desserts. Some desserts include, but are not limited, to French macarons, beignets, cake pops, Danish pastries, fancy cookies, quick breads, yeast breads and cakes. On the final day of class, students will host a pastry party for their families.  Students must follow directions and be safe in the kitchen.  Misbehaving students will be dismissed from the program.

More about our Culinary Arts Teachers:

Chef Joshua Ogrodowski is currently a Connecticut-certified Culinary Arts Teacher/Serv Safe Instructor and teaches grades 9-12 at Enfield High School. He earned an associate degree in culinary arts, a bachelor’s degree in culinary nutrition and a master of arts in teaching in foodservice education from Johnson & Wales University. During his time at Johnson & Wales, he worked as a teaching assistant and fellow for the college, working procurement and events. He also completed his student teaching at Diman Regional Vocational High School in Fall River, MA, where Emeril Lagasse graduated. Prior to his career in teaching, he worked for 12 years in various foodservice establishments from restaurants to country clubs, working up to a supervisory position.

Chef Rachael LaPorte is an award winning natural food chef who has a passion for nutrition and culinary education. She is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and a graduate of Central Connecticut State University with a master’s degree in education. She is the Founder and Executive Chef of Healthy Farm Eating, a chef prepared meals-to-go company with a mission to regionalize our food system through sustainable agriculture and supplying local people with local food.You can follow her on facebook at “Healthy Farm Eating”.


Our culinary program fills up quickly!  Registration opens in mid-March.

To register, please complete a registration form and health and safety form.  All forms can be found under “Register for a Youth Class” on our website or in the back of the summer catalog. Forms can be faxed, mailed, emailed or dropped off to the Youth Coordinator in LRC B147g.

Sorry, this program is not eligible for scholarships or discounts.