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fish at 9 a.m.?” quips Douglas as servers bring out perfect bites of succulent black cod over house-pickled sauerkraut from Chicago chef Paul Virant’s new cookbook, The Preservation Kitchen. It’s paired with glasses of Riesling. Virant, chef/owner of the Windy City’s acclaimed Vie restaurant, demonstrates how to baste the fish. A closeup of his technique is live-cast on two big screens behind him. Another projects live tweets from staffers and campers. During each class, Douglas prowls the venue, his wireless microphone ever present. He’s the ringmaster of this culinary circus, keeping the chef-performers on time, asking questions, making jokes, ensuring everyone is having a good time. When a camper volunteers to chop veggies, he rewards her with a spin on a carnival wheel with prizes like hotel stays and restaurant certificates. Good natured competition plays an important role in Culinary Camp. Each day, campers compete for points and prizes. The camper with the most points at week’s end wins a culinary adventure for six in Seattle, complete with hotel and restaurant meals. For today’s challenge, they’re creating a feast using ingredients pictured in old food magazines. Between demos, campers browse and clip photos.

They also line up for signed cookbooks. Each camper goes home with autographed books from the chefpresenters. In addition, they receive goodies like camp T-shirts and aprons, gift cards for Starbucks, discount cards to Douglas’ 12 restaurants, wine from sponsors, and culinary tools like knives.

Sassafras Sara, a third-year camper from Juneau, Alaska, thumbs through an old “Gourmet” hoping for the perfect image for a winning culinary feast. “Tom’s Camp is like fantasy baseball for sports fans. Some people like cruises. For me, this is the ultimate vacation.” www.tomdouglas.com

Duck basted black cod over house-pickled sauerkraut.

The Kenmore Air Destination Magazine

HARBORS |

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HARBORS Fall 2012  

The Kenmore Air Destination Magazine

HARBORS Fall 2012  

The Kenmore Air Destination Magazine