This summer, Virginia Tech's Dining Services will share their passion for culinary arts with the next generation of budding chefs. 

The inaugural Virginia Tech Culinary Camp is a five-day, four-night on-campus immersion experience offering a taste of the chef life to 30 middle-school-aged students, held from Tuesday, June 25 until Saturday, June 29.

Dining Services chefs are pros at teaching cooking skills through such events as the Chef Series offered to Virginia Tech students throughout the school year. For the first time, that experience is expanded to several days and offered to a younger set. 

The camp will be led by Nazim Khan, executive chef senior of Virginia Tech’s Personal Touch Catering. Khan says he believes that being a chef is all about passion, patience, and persistence. He shares his talent and creativity in a weekly cooking segment on the Fox 21/27 morning news affiliate in nearby Roanoke.

“I wanted to offer this to middle school kids because that is the time they explore the world,” said Khan. “Food is so dynamic now. Chefs are outside the kitchen, on TV, and kids see that character and want to have that culinary adventure.” 

Khan says he is excited to give middle-school students a sample of what it’s like to be a chef today. 

“It’s not just cooking. It’s leading a team. It’s engaging with diners, having conversations. It’s making food from a place of love. It’s that ‘wow’ factor.”

The camp will teach basics, from shopping for the freshest produce to dining etiquette. Campers will get hands-on experiences in cooking techniques, nutrition, food safety, and even how to engage a TV audience.  Other fun events will round out the experience, including tours of dining center kitchens, the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm, and the state-of-the-art Dairy Science Milking Parlor. Campers will learn the structure of becoming a chef and gain skills they can use at home with their families every day.

Registration deadline is May 31, 2013. For more information and to register, visit Culinary Camp online.

Virginia Tech Dining Services is nationally recognized for dining excellence by the National Association of College and University Food Services, The Princeton Review, Campus Prowler, Food Management Magazine, and many other institutions.



By Nancy Bagato

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