Just recently, I attended the 4-H Family Consumer Sciences (FCS) Behind the Scenes Culinary Arts Camp.
Through this experience about 20 participants, including myself, had the opportunity to learn about food processing, preparation and marketing along with meeting industry professionals in the field of culinary arts. Throughout the camp, which was held in Nashville, members improved knowledge and ability as well as gained valuable networking and life skills.
Some highlights of the camp were: touring the Tennessee Bun Company, manufacturer of biscuits and English muffins for Tennessee Pride and Middle Tennessee McDonald's companies; meeting catering professionals like Dyan Damron of Coach D Consulting; creating culinary masterpieces with freezer jams, hard candies and a four-course, Mexican-inspired meal; learning how to properly read recipes and network with professionals; and just-for-fun activities like the Tennessee Performing Arts Center performance of "Beauty and the Beast" and Japanese hibachi.
Last but not least was an educational session with Executive Chef Chris Rains and CEO Erica Rains of The Chef and I Catering Company, which provides catering, restaurant services and culinary classes throughout the year. Overall, culinary camp provided lots of valuable memories and knowledge to take forth into the future.
This was the third year for the FCS Behind the Scenes Camp. Each year, the camp focuses on a different theme and is designed to give high school youth an opportunity to see various career options in the field of family and consumer sciences. Previous themes have included fashion and interior design. Also attending the camp from Wilson County were Grace LaGrange, Tabitha Jenkins and Lenore Thorne.