Food and chef Richard are a central part of the Camp Pinnacle experience. Chef Richard is completely involved in camp. He joins cabin groups for evening circle, teaches cooking and baking classes with executive director Jane Dockendorf, and when not in the kitchen, can frequently be sighted on the disc golf course or the campfire ring. He knows how important great food is to making the camp experience special. The Pinnacle kitchen is already open, as Richard prepares food for weddings, school groups and other special events held at camp this spring. Below he shares some thoughts on summer 2016:
What I’m excited about: Everything! But mostly I am very excited to see old friends and meet new ones.
One of the many things that’s got me really excited for this summer is at the end of each camp session, our final dinner will be a cookout and beach party barbecue. There are two words to describe this event: yum and fun!
Improving our milk: Who doesn’t like a nice glass of cold milk with dinner? We are partnering with a local dairy, Mills River Creamery, to give us the fresh and wholesome milk healthy campers deserve. This fourth-generation family dairy is just 12 miles from camp. Mills River Creamery’s milk is as close as you will get to “fresh from the cow.” Their milk has been pasteurized, but not homogenized, which means that after it sits undisturbed for a period of time, the cream will rise to the top. We can then skim it off for use in cooking, making fresh butter, baking pies and cakes, or creating other wonderful food!
Mills River Creamery’s pasteurizes their milk in a low-temperature vat instead of the more modern high-temperature flash pasteurization process that has become the standard process in the big commercial dairies over the years. This leaves the milk with an incredible natural flavor and protects many healthy enzymes that make it a healthier product. Using a food service, our milk used to come from Texas; now it’s all from local cows!
What parents should know about the CP kitchen: I am committed to proving meals that are as healthy as they are delicious. We do this by getting the best ingredients we can. We are committed to purchasing local, farm-fresh products whenever available. Our produce comes from the Western Carolina Farmers’ Market, where we use wholesalers to buy all our fruit and vegetables locally and in season. This is more work for us than getting our food unloaded off the Sysco truck or opening a bunch of cans, but we know it is worth it. The smiles on our campers’ faces after a healthy, delicious meal make the extra work worthwhile. And yes, I will share recipes!
What campers should know: We have the best desserts—cookies, cakes, pies, and ice cream—around! But you will have to eat your dinner, keep your cabins clean, etc. And we will be doing even more cooking classes this summer. When you come to Pinnacle, make sure you bring a healthy appetite with you!