JR. Summer Boot Camp Blog Cast

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

The JR. Savour the Flavour BlogCast


Welcome to our Blog Cast! This week we will be highlighting moments from our boot camp using pictures, words, and video. 


This Savour the Flavour Boot Camp is an Outrageously Rural experience that leads to great food, lots of fun and a few good laughs! This chef-led, intensive, outrageous culinary training demands you to roll up your sleeves, dig in and take a fresh look at the foods you eat and how they are prepared.


JULY 21--24, 2014: The result: a worthwhile experience that builds in-depth culinary skills and confidence as an OUTRAGEOUSLY GREAT CHEF


This summer we are offering this amazing oppurtunity for Junior students from ages 11 - 14.


Here's what's happening in the Boot Camp:

- An opportunity to work with real professional chefs

-An opportunity as part of a "Chef Team" to plan and cook a Celebration Event.

-An opportunity to tell your outrageous Boot Camp stories on our Savour the Flavour blog.


Thanks to our sponsors: Concentra Financial, The Ontario Trillum Foundation and The County of Elgin, because of you we are able to hold this boot camp. 

Boot Camp Day #1 – A Cool Beginning

When we first arrived for our first day of boot camp we had lunch that was prepared by Chef Gerry. We had tomato, fennel and sausage compote on herb crostini with a poached egg. It was delicious! We got the chance to meet all of our fellow boot campers and enjoy a delicious lunch.


After lunch we went into the cookery and we all got our own chef hats and aprons to keep. The chef hats had our names embroidered on them. Chef Gerry taught us some safety and kitchen rules then he showed us the different styles of cutting and the different types of knifes. After the demonstrations we got to cut up carrots, celery, onions and garlic. The different types of cuts we used were baton, julienne, dice and much more. We saved the vegetables to use later on in the week.


When we got our cutting board to cut the vegetables we put a damp cloth underneath the cutting board to stop it from sliding. When we cut the onions and garlic there was a lot of crying, after all we cut a lot of onions and garlic.

We learned that at the end of the week we will be cooking a tasting party for friends and family. We are super excited for the rest of the week and we cannot wait to show off our skills to our family and friends on Thursday.                      

Click Here to View our BlogCast                             

Boot Camp Day #2 – Say Cheese!

When we first arrived in the Cookery this morning Chef Gerry had a surprise breakfast for us. He made us a whipped cream cheese and peach parfait with granola and nuts.

After breakfast we made homemade whole wheat molasses brown bread. The bread was cool because we did not have to knead it and it also had molasses in it. It made it sweet. Every group got to make their own load of bread. We had to heat the flour, to activate the yeast. 


While the bread was baking, we prepared homemade tomato and basil soup. It had the onions, garlic and carrots that we cut up yesterday and lots of tomatoes. We also added basil. We added hot sauce and salt to season it and some lemon juice to add flavour.


While the soup simmered we got to do a cheese taste test. There was swiss cheese, smoked havarti cheese, parmesan, goat cheese, soft cheese and cheddar cheese. The best cheese was the soft cheese and cheddar cheese. The goat cheese was not our favourite one, this was because it was too mushy, and the texture was not good.

After we picked our favourite cheeses, we scooped our soup and sliced our bread to make cheese sandwiches for lunch. It was all very good. After we cleaned up from lunch, we made cookie dough. The first one to finish their dough won. We put it in the fridge to chill. We may have eaten some chocolate chips in the process, but that’s okay. Now we are going on a field trip! We are going to Empire Valley to tour the farm and the greenhouses and seeing where our fresh, local produce comes from.

Click Here to View our BlogCast

On our field trip we went to go see the greenhouses there was a lot of fruit and vegetables there like zucchini, tomatoes, carrots, watermelon and peppers. We brought some kale back with us to make kale chips later.


Click Here to View our BlogCast

We then baked our cookies. The cookies turned out delicious! They had a lot of chocolate chips and nuts in them which made it great.

To make kale chips you break up the kale and put it in a bowl. Then you cover it in olive oil and salt then you put it in the oven. They were very good, they tasted like potato chips.

After we snacked for a little bit, Chef Gerry showed us how to cut a whole chicken the proper way. He told us how to make three to four meals out of one whole chicken. He also told us that when the chicken is purchased whole it is cheaper then buying all the parts separately.


Boot Camp Day #3 – Squawk!

This morning Chef Gerry made us a delicious breakfast. He prepared crispy bacon, scrambled eggs and garlic toast. He cooked the eggs in a big metal bowl over a pot of boiling water. This was so the steam could help the eggs cook evenly.

Then we cut up onions, zucchini, tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, and garlic for our stew. The stew was a chicken stew called "Poulet Basquaise". We added lots of bacon, rosemary, thyme and salt and pepper to season it. With the chicken we had roasted potatoes. We cut the potatoes into quarters and put oil, garlic, rosemary, chilli powder flakes, salt and pepper on the quarters and then we put it on the oven until they were tender and crispy.


Click Here to View our BlogCast

We ate the stew and potatoes for lunch. While we were cooking Chef Gerry made some fresh pasta and now we are getting the chance to sample the pasta. All the food was fantastic!

After lunch we started making the tomato sauce for the pizza. Others were making the dough and some other were preparing the toppings. We were getting things ready for the big day tomorrow; some people learned how to make crème brulee, while others made lots of cookies to enjoy tomorrow. While the crème brulee was in the oven, the sauce was on the stove and the dough was resting we watched a movie about the life of chickens. We learned that some big companies use chicken coops that are not how a chicken should be raised. When the film was over we rolled out the dough and put it in the dough cast, and topped up the pizzas for the oven. We filled the deep dish pizzas with sausage, sauce and cheese. We took the crème brulee out and now we are letting it cool in the fridge.










Click Here to View our BlogCast


Boot Camp Day #4 – The Big Day

So today was the big day, today was the Food and Flavour Extravaganza! We started bright and early this morning at 9am! There was a lot of stuff that had to get done, bread had to be baked, ice cream sandwiches needed assembling and polenta had to be cooked.

Click Here to View our BlogCast

The night’s menu went like this:

  • Saskatoon Berry Punch
  • Molasses Brown Bread with Green Apple and Cheese Fondue
  • Farfalle Pasta with Chicken, Peppers and Fennel in a Herb Cream Sauce
  • Caesar Salad Cups, “Brutus Style” with Smokey Bacon, Homemade Dressing and Homemade Croutons
  • Cool Summer Gazpacho with Seasonal Vegetables and Kale Chips
  • Homemade Polenta with Sweet Italian Sausage, Tomato Compote with Parmesan Shavings.
  • Mini Potato Cups with a Goat Cheese Filling
  • Salted Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies and
  • Saskatoon Berry “Hand Pies”

Each dish was as yummy as the next. We had lots of Saskatoon berries to welcome our special guest from Concentra Financial who came all the way from Saskatchewan.

The night was a great success and all of our family, friends and guests had a great time. It was a blast showing off our skills to everyone and everyone was surprised by what we were able to prepare for them. We hope to come back to the Savour the Flavour Boot Camps again.

Look Below for Photos of the night’s events.


























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The Bank in the Press

Working tht Whole PIG in West Lorne - The Chronicle - March 12, 2015

Savour the Flavour Culinary Boot Camp Dinner - The Chronicle - March 12, 2015


West Lorne woman named Elgin County Ambassador for 2011 - The Chronicle - February 23, 2012

McGartland Wins Count Award - Port Stanley News - February 23, 2012

Elgin county celebrates McGartland's dedication - St. Thomas Times-Journal - February 17, 2012

Heritage Conservation Benefits - The Lake Erie Beacon - February 3, 2012

Elgin's Culinary Flare on Display at London Wine & Food Show - January 16, 2012

2011 Year in Review - The Chronicle - January 5, 2012

Gingerbread houses - The Chronicle - December 1, 2011

World record attempt for baking cookies in West Lorn - The Chronicle - December 1, 2011

West Lorne's The Arts & Cookery Bank is Outrageously Rural - The Beat Magazine - November 2011

Have a Crostini - The Chronicle - October 13, 2011

Story Teller Legacy - The Chronicle - October 13, 2011

A summer student's story - The Chronicle - September 2, 2011

Photo Shoot-Out winners - St. Thomas-Elgin Weekly News - August 24, 2011

Savouring Elgin - A Delicious Discovery - Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance - August 17, 2011

A Food Affair - EatDrink - July-August 2011

Celebrating in style - St. Thomas-Elgin Weekly News - July 27, 2011

It's a Cake Walk and Cake Social - The Chronicle - July 21, 2011

Community Health Centre honours volunteers with heritage stone - The Chronicle - July 21, 2011

First year anniversary celebration - St. Thomas-Elgin Weekly News - July 13, 2011

Taking McSmith's All the Way to the Bank - Relish Elgin - Summer 2011

Celebrating the gals of Elgin County - The Chronicle, April 21, 2011