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Young chefs get cookin’ in STEM summer camp

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Young chefs get cookin’ in STEM summer camp

Manteca Unified School District Nutrition Education Catering Chef Bryan Ehrenholm shows students of the Chop Chop Cook summer camp on Thursday what it takes to prepare an Asian pasta salad.

VINCE REMBULAT / The Bulletin/

POSTED July 4, 2017 9:57 p.m.

Kierra Blackwell looked forward to preparing a nice, healthy meal for the family.

But first, the eighth-grade student at Woodward Elementary School had to learn how to make an Asian pasta salad.

Blackwell among the near dozen on this final day of the Chop Chop Cook STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) summer camp of the Manteca Unified School District.

The three-day session was the second of its kind under the direction of Bryan Ehrenholm, who is the district’s Nutrition Education Catering Chef.

A week earlier, he taught Chop Chop Cook classes to MUSD third to sixth graders. Since Tuesday, Ehrenholm provided cooking instructions to seventh- through ninth- grade students.

“The difference is that the older kids can prepare (pasta) by using the stove,” he said.

In any event, students at the two Chop Chop Cook camps learned what it took to make complete meals while using fresh produce and healthy ingredients.

“I took the class because I want to get into cooking,” said Isabella Avila, who will be a freshman at Manteca High.

Ditto that for Brenda Candelas. The incoming ninth grader at East Union High, in particular, enjoyed results of the whole grain biscuits made the other day.

Students were given a recipe book and apron, which they got to keep, for the STEM summer camp held in the MUSD Culinary Academy Cafe.

They learned how to make healthy summer food snacks along with options – for example, honey instead of sugar in dessert recipes, Ehrenholm said – to spice up a dish.

Blackwell, along with her fellow summer campers, learned how to make an Asian pasta salad. In the past few days, she expanded her home menu to include a mug granola not to mention a refreshing watermelon fresca.

Ehrenholm is one of the original instructors at the MUSD Charter Academies. He was recognized for his services at the recent graduation ceremony.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail

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