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    Summer learning in the kitchen

    By Melissa Trevino,


    • Culinary Camp at San Diego ISD gives students a taste of the real world.
    • Students at the culinary camp have been learning how to cook, but they're also learning reading, math and science with each recipe.

    Students are learning basic life skills in the kitchen at San Diego Independent School District this summer. They learned everything they’d need to know to succeed in the kitchen, from reading recipes and measuring to science.

    On Tuesday, June 11th, the lunch menu was burgers. However, before the burgers were sizzling on the hot pan — there was preparation these San Diego High School students had to do.

    They sat down and went over the recipe and ingredients needed, and then they got to work at their stations. Each student preparing a different portion of the lunch menu.

    “I wasn’t really cooking before this. Occasionally, I would help out. Now, I’ll make fries. Maybe at home, if we have potatoes,” said Mackenzie Conchas, Culinary Camp participant.

    MacKenzie Conchas said she wasn’t quite sure of what to expect, but “it’s really beneficial.”

    Conchas is an upcoming sophomore. She and her camp partner were cutting potatoes, something she wouldn’t learn in an actual classroom.

    The district’s Culinary Camp instructor, Mellie Smithwick, said these students will be out in the real world, and they’ll need to know how to cook for themselves. She is teaching these students about quick, easy, healthy, and inexpensive food.

    “As an educator, it’s really important to share the knowledge we have. These are life skills that they’re going to be able to take with them and they’ll use. They don’t realize how important it is,” Smithwick said.

    Eloy Cantu is another camp participant. His favorite meal of the camp was pancakes, and he said he’s not the type to be seen in the kitchen.

    However, he said, he’s learning “basic skills needed later on in life.”

    The lunch menu was finally completed and students served themselves a hearty meal to fill their stomach and brain food.

    As these kids devoured their spoils, Culinary Camp Instructor Mellie Smithwick said her students don’t always realize they’re learning — they’re just excited to eat.

    For the latest local news updates, click here , or download the KRIS 6 News App.

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