Designed for exceptional Chicago Public high school students, with financial need, who want to further their exposure to the culinary world and have fun along the way!

Holiday Baking Boot Camp

As a follow up to their successful summer camp program for exceptional Chicago Public School students interested in the culinary arts, Yes, Chef! Culinary Camp is going year-round starting with a one-day virtual Holiday Baking Boot Camp on November 21st. ’Tis the season for showing loved ones how much they mean — and what better way than sharing homemade holiday treats! Campers will learn invaluable baking basics from our esteemed instructors, bond with students from other schools and end the day with a buffet of baked goods!

Spots are full but you can apply to be put on a wait list below!

culinary camp
Farmers' Market

Yes Chef! Culinary Camp

The Kendall College Trust (KCT) initiated Culinary Camp in the summer of 2016 as a week-long, immersive overnight camp that brings together promising students from under-resourced, underserved communities. The program is designed to broaden campers’ horizons in culinary, culture, and community, inviting campers to spend one week bonding with students from other schools while learning valuable career skills. Classes are taught by our esteemed culinary instructors, an unparalleled experience for students with an interest in the Culinary Arts. In the evenings, campers participate in chaperoned cultural excursions all throughout Chicago. At week’s end, students receive a completion certificate and attend a graduation banquet they have prepared for their family.

COVID-19 made KCT create a way to safeguard against future disruptions while still providing valuable opportunities for the youth in Chicago. To that end, KCT is pivoting to a virtual platform for the Summer 2021 culinary camp. The virtual camp will continue to honor its three pillars: culinary, community, culture in the following ways.

  • Host live-stream, on-line instructional modules taught by industry experts
  • Provide technique videos as additional support materials for students
  • Instructors provide feedback during class as well as through homework assignments
  • Foster a community of like-minded individuals through virtual meet-ups and discussion groups with their peers
  • Provide virtual tours of the city’s cultural gems
  • Host panel discussions and Q&As with city luminaries
  • Host virtual field trips to learn more about sustainability, food ways and cultural culinary traditions
  • And, at the end of each day, the campers’ class instruction and activities lead up to a dinner for their family each night of camp

COVID has been limiting—but as a small organization, we are inherently flexible and thus see this as an opportunity to expand our reach and provide valuable, educational opportunities to a broader audience.

Kendall College Trust (KCT) is proud to partner with Chicago Public School (CPS), Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) and The Chopping Block. The KCT knows bright futures begin with an education, and we are dedicated to providing funding and dynamic programming to foster the industry leaders of tomorrow.


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 age 13-18.

How are they selected?

There are three selection methods utilized by the KCT Culinary Camp. A number of spots are awarded via C-CAP’s junior culinary competition. Students who did not participate in the junior competition, can apply to the camp and 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 KCT by academic field recruiters and will undergo a similar selection process to the C-CAP students.

65% of Campers are Female

  • Female
  • Male

91% of Campers are Black and Latinx

  • Black
  • Hispanic
  • White
  • Asian

Who teaches the camp?

KCT Culinary camps are taught by esteemed culinary instructors as well as a registered nutritionist.

What Skills Will Campers Learn?

  • Introductory knife skills
  • Kitchen terminology
  • Nutrition fundamentals
  • Kitchen safety and sanitation
  • Foundational cooking skills including: meat fabrication, baking basics, cooking from scratch
  • Cooking methods: stock pastry, sauces, fresh pasta, and pie crust
  • And much more!

Watch the Kendall College Trust Culinary Camp in Action!

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 KCT-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

Application for Scholarship to Attend

Currently enrolled Chicago Public High School students with financial need, may apply for a scholarship to attend the virtual Holiday Baking Boot Camp by clicking the button below.

Our Partners

C-CAPCareers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is a national non-profit that transforms the lives of at-risk students through the culinary arts. C-CAP was founded by Richard Grausman, renowned cookbook author and culinary educator, and has a volunteer Board of Directors co-chaired by Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Mark Weiss. Since its inception in 1990, C-CAP has awarded over $46 million in scholarships through the largest independent culinary scholarship program in the U.S., and classrooms have received nearly $3.4 million worth of supplies and equipment. Many C-CAP alumni, now graduates of top culinary colleges, are working in leading restaurants and hotels throughout the country.

The Chopping Block – 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.