NEWINGTON - Time is running out for middle-schoolers to register for a culinary education with an expert teacher.
Newington High School culinary instructor Scott Pestka was called upon by Newington Parks and Recreation to run a brand new Summer Culinary Camp.
Providing local children this opportunity has been Pestka’s longtime dream, according to Recreation Supervisor Nick Pizzoferrato.
“He came to us with this idea that he’s wanted to do for awhile,” Pizzoferrato said.
Pestka runs the new kitchen and event center at the high school, which just opened to students this past year.
The upcoming camp is for a younger crowd. Students in grades five through nine can register.
While many children spend their time off from school outside in the summer sun, this is an option for those who would rather take a break indoors.
“I think it’s a little different compared to what we’re used to offering,” Pizzoferrato pointed out. “A lot of summer programs take you outdoors, but for kids who don’t necessarily want to take part in sports or outdoor activities this is an alternative we can offer them.”
No prior kitchen experience is needed, although a general interest in learning how to cook is appreciated.
Families can choose to sign up for one of three separate sessions. The first session starts Monday and runs through Friday. The remaining sessions are July 31-Aug.4 and Aug. 7-11. The camp will be held in Newington’s High School’s culinary wing.
Here’s the breakdown of a typical day:
It begins at 8:30 a.m. Students will learn to prepare an entrée and dessert from Pestka, along with the culinary skills needed to execute each recipe.
They will also prepare their own lunch. A half-hour will be designated to enjoy the meal and everyone will get to take samples home to share with their families.
On the week-long menu are enchiladas, pizza, macaroni and cheese, pasta, chicken, eggplant parmesan, cookies, brownies and more.
Camp finishes at 2 p.m. each day.
The cost, including food, is $175 for Newington residents and $195 for non-residents.
Register at Newington Parks and Recreation, 131 Cedar St., or by calling 860-665-8666.
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.