Catching up with Ella

We talked to Ella and her mom about the program; this is what they had to say!

1.  Why did you choose to register in our program initially?

Ella had a passion for cooking that we wanted to nurture. The camp seemed best-in-class after a lot of digging.

2.  After camp, did you notice any breakthroughs Ella may have had as a result of attending our program, academically, socially or in any other way? 

She was definitely more confident and social. She really enjoyed being around like-minded people and talked a lot about about all of the different kids she met. She was more internationally and culture aware, given the peers she met.

3.  In the last years since attending our program, can you see where our program has had any impact on her life?

Yes, we think it was a key transformational part of her adolescence. It opened her eyes to more places, people, possibilities and played a key role in her getting into and being ready for college, we think. Living in a co-ed, dorm-like environment also helped prepare her for college.

4.  What is Ella up to these days?  Does it relate to their work in our program?

She is finishing up her first year of college at Syracuse University. Yes, it relates.  Her major, plus she’s in a sorority that ironically has a lot of food icons and food majors who are alums/current members (Alex Guarnaschelli, President and CEO of White Castle, former president of Einstein Bagels, Editor-in-chief of Every Day with Rachael Ray, etc.) She’ll be a summer counselor at CampusNYC this summer.  She’s so excited to return.

5.  What is her major in college?

She is majoring in Food Studies at SU.

6.  Did attending our program alter the course of your student’s life in any way?

For sure.  It nurtured her true love of being in the kitchen. She will inevitably have a career that relates to food in some way.

Here is what Ella had to say:

1.  What is your relationship to cooking now?

It’s my major and I cook as much as possible.

2.  Do you have a positive memory from camp you can share?

I created friendships that lasted many years after camp. They have come to visit me in TN and in Syracuse, and I’ve gone on family vacations with them, too. I remember trying new restaurants in the city as part of the rogue squad outings; I loved doing that with friends.

3.  Are you still in touch with anybody from camp? 

Yes, I keep in touch with several of the friends I made. We stay connected through social media and texting and phone, and we’ve spent time together live, too.

4.  In what ways did attending our program make a difference for you, anywhere in your life?

It helped me learn how to live at college and how to make new friends quickly. It gave me something unique to talk about on my college applications and allowed me to become a leader in training over time.

5.  What are you up to now?  Where are you headed in life?

I’m in college now and I’m about to finish my first year. I don’t know where I’m headed right now, but I’m having a great time and had a really positive experience my first year. I’m sure I’m going to have a career that’s somehow related to food.  Maybe a celebrity catering business or starting a food back or helping people develop better eating habits. I’m not sure.

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See what our other grads accomplished after their summer culinary experience

Graduate Profiles

We felt that Summer Culinary was the right combination of trying new things and building confidence in our young chef. The amount of knowledge gained in one week was absolutely fantastic! This experience boosted our daughter’s already strong passion for pastry arts!
2023 Parent
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What is Summer Culinary?

Summer Culinary is the nation’s best culinary summer program for students 12-17. Our program is committed to powerful, safe and fun culinary instruction in pro commercial kitchens and pro chefs in some of America’s best culinary hotspots.

While experience is suggested, it is not required. Our biggest requirement is a love of food, and a desire to learn the culinary arts! We have had true novices in our program, and we have had students go on to win cooking shows on TV.