Mendelssohn offers ‘Culinary Arts,’ ‘La Fiesta Latina’ summer youth programs

Staff Report

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center will offer “Culinary Arts” and “La Fiesta Latina” summer programs for youth ages 12-17 and 7-17, respectively, the week of June 17-21.

Culinary Arts” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Monday-Friday; and “La Fiesta Latina” will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Students participating in the “Culinary Arts” program will enjoy a safe and relaxed cooking experience in the professional kitchen at Mendelssohn Hall. The program will feature five professional chefs who will each direct the kitchen for a day and share their culinary expertise with the students. Additional guests from the food profession will participate throughout the week. The chefs will include Kate Sullivan from Kate’s Pie Shop & Record Store; Tom Sullivan, former owner of Sullivan’s Pub and current director of food service at Beloit Memorial Hospital; Candelaria Serrano, former owner of Serrano’s Mexican Kitchen and currently a chef at Swedish American Hospital; and Polly Matranga Happach and Lorie Parker-Weinrich from the Bella Luna Bakery. In addition to preparing different dishes from each chef’s personal specialty, students will also learn basic nutrition, food safety and healthy eating habits! The tuition for the “Culinary Arts” summer program is $105 per student.

Students in the “La Fiesta Latina” program will enjoy colorful afternoons filled with Latin music and dance like cumbia, salsa and meringue, and will try their hand at making homemade tortillas! The session will be led by Armando Cardenas and Rudy and Laura Ortiz with guest instructors per specialty: Malu Herrera, visual artist; Teresa Medina, dance; Arthur Cardenas, drums; Fernando Zumbado, music; Esteban Perez, art; and Cande Serrano, cooking. Students will also learn some Spanish language and Latin crafts and prepare dance steps and music for a parade performance as part of the Jeremiah Development’s inaugural “Party in the Park” Saturday, June 22. The tuition for the “La Fiesta Latina” is $135 per student.

All sessions will be at Mendelssohn Hall, 406 N. Main St., in downtown Rockford. To register, call (815) 964-9713. The Mendelssohn Summer Program Brochure is available for download on Mendelssohn’s website at

From the May 29-June 4, 2013, issue

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