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High School / Pre-College

Enrichment: Cooking Major

Major Tracks   |   Focus Tracks   |   Discovery Tracks
Business  |   Community Service  |   Cooking  |   Fashion Design  |   Rock ’n’ Roll  |   SAT Prep

Our Cooking Track is a fast-paced, fun opportunity to develop sophisticated taste buds, a critical appreciation of food, and the ability to create some mouth-watering dishes yourself. If you love the smells, the tastes, the textures, the rituals, the business and the pleasure of food, you’ll love this major!

Our culinary directors will be joined by a staff of chef instructors with backgrounds running college-level culinary programs and cooking for some of Philadelphia’s finest restaurants. They’ll bring a wealth of knowledge and kitchen expertise found only in the most accomplished professional chefs. Best of all, they will be working with you on an individual basis.

Hands-On Experience and Personal Coaching

The Cooking Track provides fundamental hands-on cooking experience while teaching you to prepare a variety of foolproof recipes. You’ll finish the program knowing lots of new dishes that combine bold flavors with the freshest ingredients. Each session will also feature visits to acclaimed Philadelphia-area restaurants, markets and hotel kitchens.

After a brief introduction to basic concepts and skills such as safety, knife handling and kitchen protocol, you’ll learn about the availability, origins, presentation and culture of various foods. Every morning students meet in our air-conditioned theater-style demonstration area with large overhead mirror to discuss the day’s menu and ingredients. First, our chefs perform a full demonstration, showing you exactly how to prepare the dishes and the keys to their success. Then it’s your turn.

Prepare a New Dish Every Day

You’ll work four to a station with other students doing hands-on preparation. You’ll begin with mise en place — the preparation of the ingredients, equipment and materials. While you’re cooking, the chef instructors will move from station to station giving individual attention and direction. Completed dishes are presented for a daily “turnout” that is judged per station.

Here’s a look at what’s on our menu — just a few of the recipes you’ll actually prepare:

  • Square Sushi with Watermelon
  • Black Bean Soup with Mango-Lime Salsa
  • Summer Corn Risotto with Manchego Cheese
  • Mahi Mahi Tacos with Guacamole and Citrus Crema
  • Poached Salmon with Lemon Chive Beurre Blanc
  • Desserts! Including Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Chocolate Fudge Sauce, Hazelnut Crème Brulee, and Warm Chocolate Lava Cake