Chef Camp: Fun fundamentals for summer learning

Certified Executive Chef Jon St. Peter demonstrates to Chef Camp students how to roll a perfectly circular pie dough Friday morning at Western Colorado Community College.

The Western Colorado Community College is providing a fun and unique way for middle school children to learn something new this summer.

More than a dozen preteens stepped into the kitchen of Certified Executive Chef Jon St. Peter this week where he demonstrated the proper use of kitchen knives, how to grill fish, and how to roll the perfect circular pie dough.

“This week we focused on a variety of basic skills including high quality food preparation, nutritional issues and of course, how to make something tasty,” St. Peter said.

St. Peter wanted to offer the camp to this age group because he feels there really isn’t enough for preteens to do during the summer months.

Not only was he trying to teach them basic techniques, St. Peter hopes the kids learn the chemistry involved in the cooking process.

“If they can come away with the basic principals and a little fundamental technique, they should be able to cook anything,” he said.

To celebrate the end of the camp, the students were preparing basic hor dourves such as spanokopita, chicken satay and baba ganoush to be served to their parents and friends Friday afternoon.

“This was such a successful camp,” said Heather Exby, director of student services at the school. The interest in the camps was unexpectedly high and the staff is considering offering more camps this summer, perhaps some for adults as well.

Western Colorado Community College is a branch of Mesa State College. A complete list of culinary classes available to the public is available at


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