ALBANY — The Albany Museum of Art is introducing kids to a form of art and expression that breaks away from traditional form this week. Through Friday, campers will create and taste recipes, learn about seeds and herbs, and create art in the process during the AMA’s “Kicking Culinary Camp.”
Instructing the camp is Chef Todd White, the chair of Albany Technical College’s Culinary Arts program and the 2018 Georgia Grown Executive Chef. He said that both traditional forms of arts and culinary arts rely on creativity, and that’s what the campers are learning.
“People follow recipes and expect them to come out the same every time, but I like to create new things,” White said. “That’s what we are doing here, we are creating new things that look like they could be on a wall and taste really awesome.”
Throughout the week, White has a variety of tasty recipes planned to give the campers a chance to explore their creativity in the kitchen. On Tuesday the campers created smoothies made from yogurt, honey and frozen berries. On Wednesday they have a fruit carving class planned during which the kids will try their hand at making creations out of different watermelons and cantaloupes. On Thursday, campers will make their own personalized pita pizzas.
“I am going to get them to eat fresh fruits,” White — aka “Chef Todd” — said. “And learn how to enjoy all the fresh local stuff.”
Chloe Hinton, the AMA’s director of education and public programming, said that during the camp the kids get the chance to do a lot of visual art as well as trying out new recipes. Throughout the week they will have the opportunity to work on crafts such as decorating aprons. But she also said that cooking is an art form in itself.
Hinton said AMA created the camp to teach kids art in a way that breaks away from the traditional forms such as painting and sculpture
“It is another branch of art that people can use to express themselves,” she said. “People use food to tell someone they love them, to show excitement or to express appreciation. Art does that, too.”
Along with creating different recipes and working on visual projects, Chef Todd also has the campers learning how to plant seedlings such as collard greens and how to cook with different types of herbs. On the last day of camp, Albany Tech culinary students will make healthy cupcakes, utilizing applesauce in the ingredients, that the kids get to decorate for their graduation ceremony. Campers will take home certificates and aprons.
White said that he hopes the camp encourages kids to participate in meal planning at home, to try new foods to find what they like and to avoid fast food restaurants.
“I want them to understand that if they try something new and get out of their comfort zone, they will probably end up loving it,” he said. “There are so many good, fresh and local foods to try, and I want them to try everything they can.”