Led by Chef Mark, two of the most popular electives at Camp Tuku are Chef’s Table and Campfire Cooking. Campers in these electives learn to connect mindfulness to food as they learn about healthful ingredients, cooking techniques, and safety best practices in the kitchen and beyond. Below is snapshot of a few of the ways mindfulness is applied during these electives:

  1. Fostering Connection: Food is a vehicle for connection – around the world people connect by sharing meals around the table. Campers similarly connect with each other as they learn to prepare food in a group setting – sharing their creativity through the customization of recipes.
  2. Increased Awareness: Campers learn about nutrition in our cooking classes where a focus is placed upon sharing whole ingredients as the basis for healthful cooking. Campers experience a range of flavors, smells, tastes and textures as they explore fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables. A focus is placed on using ingredients harvested from the Orme garden in Arizona.
  3. Mindful Eating: Campers learn about mindful eating – the act of being fully present during a meal; savoring each bite, fully appreciating the flavors and textures, and chewing slowly. The sensory experience of the meal serves not only as a conduit of increased presence and awareness, but assists in supporting healthy eating habits.
  4. Cultural Appreciation: Camp Tuku values diversity and encourages campers to learn about different cultures through various cuisines and traditions. Recipes selected for the courses often reflect a wide range of cultural cuisines and delicacies.

By incorporating mindfulness into cooking campers develop a greater appreciation for the interconnectedness of food, health, and the process of cooking. Mindful cooking also encourages a more profound connection to the present moment and the sensations experienced while cooking and eating, ultimately enhancing the overall culinary experience.