Yes, Chef! Culinary Camp


Designed for exceptional Chicago area high school students in under-resourced areas, who want to further their exposure to the culinary world and have fun along the way!

2023 Culinary Camps

Yes, Chef! Culinary Camp is live! That’s right, our Yes, Chef! Culinary Camp is back in-person this year!

The Spring Baking Boot Camp on April 2nd will have campers sifting and stirring their way through a variety of sweet and savory recipes. Our week-long summer camp will be held from June 19 to June 23 at The Chopping Block. Our Fall Camp will be October 21 where campers will be making fresh pasta and complimentary sauces, as well as, learn the history of pasta, regional pasta traditions, the difference between types of flours and more!

Enrollment is open—Eligible, currently enrolled Chicago Public or other approved high school students (Must be 14-18 years of age) interested in gaining valuable culinary skills while having fun should apply now as spaces go fast.

If accepted, there is ZERO cost to participate.

Campers will learn invaluable cooking and baking basics from our esteemed instructors, bond with students from other schools and end the day with delicious food!

Apply online for one or all of the camps! Campers will be called to schedule a phone interview with their parent/guardian and a selection committee member to determine their eligibility for an award to attend at no cost.

Campers learn how to make cinnamon rolls, a strawberry jelly-roll cake, a savory veggie galette and chocolate zucchini bread at this interactive camp. The camp is taught by Chef Lisa at The Chopping Block. Performance prizes will be awarded as well as a top performance prize.

Our popular week-long camp will be held at The Chopping Block in Lincoln Square. Each day campers cook a meal to eat alongside other campers as well as something to bring home to the family. Performance prizes will be given out daily and an overall top prize of an iPad mini will be awarded. At the end of camp, campers receive an essential kitchen equipment kit to continue their cooking journey at home.

Oct. 21, 2023
10am – 3pm
Tutore Italian Cooking School
2755 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL

Make fresh pasta and complimentary sauces, as well as, learn the history of pasta, regional pasta traditions, the difference between types of flours and more! Campers will enjoy a midday meal of their homemade pasta and take some dishes home to share with family. They’ll go home with a pasta making kit to continue to wow their family and friends with their new skills!

Dec. 3, 2023
11am – 3pm
The Chopping Block
4747 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL

Join us for our third annual Holiday Baking Boot Camp! ’Tis the season for showing loved ones how much they mean to you — and what better way than sharing holiday treats baked by you! You will learn invaluable baking basics from our esteemed instructor, bond with students from other schools and end the day with a buffet of baked goods!

culinary camp

How are campers selected?

There are three selection methods utilized by the Yes, Chef! Culinary Camp. A number of spots are awarded via C-CAP’s junior culinary competition that takes place in January. Students who did not participate in the junior competition can apply to the camp and will go through a selection and interview process. A few spots are made available for CPS students who show great culinary interest and potential but are not part of a district offering C-CAP. These students are recommended to the F4CA by academic field recruiters and will undergo a similar selection process to the C-CAP students.

Who are our campers?

Our campers are a diverse group of students from under-resourced communities currently enrolled in the Chicago Public School system. The students are both male and female ranging from 13-18 years of age.

65% of Campers are Female

91% of Campers are Black and Latino

How Can I Get Involved?

Sponsor a camp  |  Sponsor a camper |
Donate  |  Volunteer  | Partner

Each level of sponsorship comes with unique promotional opportunities—press coverage inclusion; inclusion in all FFCA-generated promotional and marketing materials; corporate branding opportunities; and more. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent as allowed by law.

To discuss sponsorship opportunities, contact Executive Director Catherine De Orio at

Camp Application Scholarship

Currently enrolled Chicago Public High School students whose family income falls within the definition of “Economically Disadvantaged”, as defined by CPS, may apply for a scholarship to attend the Yes, Chef! Culinary Camp by clicking the button below.

Our Partners

Long co-chaired by chef Marcus Samuelsson, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is a workforce development nonprofit that provides underserved teens a pathway to success. Annually, C-CAP provides culinary, job and life skills to over 20,000 middle-and-high school students in seven regions across the United States. Founded in 1990 by Richard Grausman, this nonprofit strives to help further food and social justice, as well as equity and inclusion by providing tools for success. Starting in middle schools, they provide culinary-and-wellness curriculum, and in high schools also provide an integrated approach to employment in the food sector via internships/apprenticeships, job shadows, mentorship, and work opportunities, college and career advising, and higher-education scholarships, along with product and food donations. The success of their alumni is proof of the methodology and the work they have done. To date, they have worked with 350,000 students and awarded $71 million in scholarships.
The Chopping Block is a leader in the culinary industry for its mission to get people to cook. The popular recreational cooking school, private event venue and gourmet retail and wine store has been in business for over 22 years in Chicago due to its ability to adapt to its customers’ needs. A highly-trained staff interacts with customers like they would with their own families: they swap stories, share recipes and learn together. The Chopping Block modifies what they teach, how they teach and what products they offer to fit the ever-changing needs of their students. From 101 cooking classes to professional culinary school-style instruction in Culinary Boot Camps, The Chopping Block addresses deficiencies in cooking skills for all levels.
Tutore is a sophisticated yet approachable Italian-centric cooking school located at 2755 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago, Illinois to offer a superior instructional experience. Founded and operated by Dean Zanella and James De Marte, the two acclaimed chefs have over 75 years of experience in the culinary industry. Tutore is a place for those looking for a familiar, friendly, and sophisticated locale - where consistency, service, and value reign supreme. With a rotating weekly class schedule on Thursday through Sunday, classes range from basic techniques and tips to recipe-specific and ingredient-focused classes for any skill level. To learn more about Tutore Cooking School and to check out their full class schedule, please visit