Chef Camp 2016: The Chefs and the Classes


Chef Camp, the Sept. 2-4 wilderness cooking retreat at YMCA Camp Miller on Sturgeon Lake, is pleased to announce the lineup of chefs and classes for its debut session.

Camp attendees will take four different classes over the weekend. In addition they’ll enjoy coffee-, tea-, and spirits-based beverages (plus terrific beer from camp underwriter Fulton Beer); jump into informal breakout sessions; do camp activities such as archery and canoeing; and — of course — feast on epic meals cooked over open flames.

There are just a dozen spots remaining at Chef Camp; if this weekend of camp cooking has captured your imagination, move quickly and join us in the woods! (We’ll update this post when tickets sell out.)

Without further ado, a preliminary look at the chefs and their classes:

Becca Dilley Photography

Becca Dilley Photography

J.D. Fratzke | Strip Club Meat & Fish + Saint Dinette

NORTH COUNTRY FISH GONE GLOBAL (four sessions) — Fresh local fish get marched into fish boils or shore lunches without a second thought, but they have the potential to do so much more. In this class, Fratzke will transform crayfish and lake trout into tacos with salsa roja and teach how to turn the meal into a Korean-style ssam platter. He’ll reinvent walleye (by simmering in the South Asian flavors of coconut milk fragrant with curry spices, lime and fresh tomato); and elevate humble sunfish by applying a tempura frying technique and finishing them with ponzu and shichimi.

Sarah Master / Heavy Table

Sarah Master / Heavy Table

Sarah Master | Mr. Roberts Resort

OYSTERS IN THE ROUGH (two sessions) — Learn about oyster selection, handling, shucking, grilling, and saucing from Master, who has extensive experience with these enchanting bivalves via both Minneapolis and New Orleans. In this class, you’ll get beyond the halfshell and witness the full potential of the oyster.

THE ART OF THE SEAFOOD BOIL (two sessions) — Seafood boils are less a dish than a philosophy, and during warm weather, they’re a way to gather and celebrate. Master will demonstrate a shrimp and andouille sausage boil that is full flavored but beautifully balanced.

Ryan Stechschulte

Ryan Stechschulte

Ryan Stechschulte | Spoon and Stable

BAKING BREADS ANYWHERE (two sessions) — This class will teach you how to harvest yeast from the air that surrounds you and how to use that “natural starter” in a number of applications. We will create a naturally leavened sourdough as well as a campfire cornbread and an Iraqi laffa that will use the natural starter as both a leavening agent and a flavor component. Never eat bad bread again. We will also have discussions about the stages of bread creation as well as a brief about gluten and its importance to the process of bread baking.

Jamie Carlson | You Have to Cook it Right

WILD RISOTTO (two sessions) Carlson will demonstrate how to make a stunning risotto over a camp fire and discuss feastworthy foods that can be prepared while camping. If nature provides, foraged ingredients, such as wild mushrooms and / or lake fish, may be included in the risotto.

FALL FORAGE (two sessions) — Walk the trails of Camp Miller with Jamie Carlson and find wild foragables including mushrooms, sumac, berries, wild grapes, and more. Carlson will bring a portable camp stove to demonstrate on-site recipes, and will have a knapsack of pre-foraged food in case the wilderness yields a less-than-spectacular bounty.

Nate Uri

Nate Uri

Nate Uri | Prohibition Kombucha

TEMAKI BAR (two sessions) — Sometimes you don’t want to start a fire or cook over one, so why not just have sushi out in the wild? Calling on some homestyle Japanese techniques, we’ll prep fish, vegetables, herbs, and pickles for a wicked-fast temaki (hand roll) bar.

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The Heavy Table team of writers, editors, and photographers has been documenting food and drink in the Upper Midwest since 2009.

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