SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. — Summer is upon us. Why not learn to cook?
The Culinary Underground, Southborough's school for home cooks of all ages, is offering summer cooking camps for local kids and teenagers ages 8 and up who either want to learn the basics or sharpen their skills.
The camps, which begin on July 9 and will continue throughout the summer, consist of four three-and-a-half hour sessions, Monday through Thursday. Each camp has a different theme, such as Italian food, or baking. A full list of camps, dates and prices can be found on the Culinary Underground website.
The Culinary Underground literally got its start underground in 2004 when Chef Lori Leinbach began teaching classes out of the kitchen of her berm house in Southborough. Leinbach, a former grade school teacher and a graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, worked as a personal chef in the Boston and MetroWest area for ten years before founding the school.
As the idea of healthy home cooking has gained popularity—due, in part, to rising fears of the obesity epidemic—so too has the Culinary Underground. Now housed in a new location at 21 Turnpike Rd., Southborough, the school is home to five chefs who teach hands-on lessons using many local ingredients.
"The chef's real desire is building confidence in home cooks, no matter what age," said Lori Schafer, a marketing consultant who helps promote the Culinary Underground.
This means teaching young people how to safely handle knives, stoves, ovens and other kitchen tools. It also means helping them memorize techniques that will allow them to tackle more complicated recipes later on.
"You should be able to go into a kitchen and make a poached egg without having to follow anything written down," Schafer said.