A 2-week career exploration program for students entering grades 8-10 interested in the culinary arts on the campus of Wellesley College.

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Take professional chefs, add students passionate about cooking, and mix them all together in our professional kitchens. Add a dash of the EXPLO experience and it’s a recipe made in culinary heaven. Fire up the burners and bring your appetite — this is your first taste of the future at EXPLO Chef.


At EXPLO Chef you will:

  • Master Technique: Hone your knife skills, from slicing and chopping to dicing and mincing, including back-slicing and rock-chops
  • Cultivate the Senses: Identify and create the 5 taste sensations
  • Develop Kitchen Intuition: Learn culinary tricks — like determining internal temperature by touch and telling the difference between fresh and old seafood
  • Be a Matchmaker: Pair complementary ingredients and flavors
  • Turn up the Heat: Learn how to sauté, sear, sweat, and simmer on the stove and how to roast and braise in the oven
  • Practice Divine Seasoning: Use flavoring agents — fresh herbs, spices, edible flowers — to create your own soups and sauces (or anything else you can think of)
  • Build Reactions: Study the chemistry of food: leavening agents, reactive agents, protein bonding, and caramelization
  • Create Sweet Rewards: Learn the baking and pastry arts by making yeast breads, quick breads, unleavened breads, and pastries
  • Make it Pop: Master classic and contemporary plate presentation

This is where you learn by doing. Practice knife skills and produce cutting techniques. Learn how to sauté, sear, sweat, and simmer dishes on the stove — and how to roast and braise in the oven. Test your tactile talent to determine the internal temperature of food you touch. Debone a fish, plate and present a dish, and caramelize crème brûlée to perfection. What you explore and discover is sure to whet your appetite.

Why EXPLO Chef?

Strong burners, hot ovens, and daily cooking challenges will test your mettle and challenge you to create restaurant-worthy dishes you’d be proud to serve to your present (and future) patrons. Shopping for ingredients at Boston’s famed Haymarket, preparing and plating dishes, and cleaning your stations to perfection — on deadline — will give you very real taste as to how chefs prepare 90 covers a night and work to make each dish more innovative and delicious than the one before.

Imagine a future where every day you get to cook the food you love shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the most talented (and acclaimed) chefs in the business. Imagine sourcing fresh ingredients, starting with a recipe, and then riffing off in your own direction — creating a culinary experience that could only come from you. At EXPLO Chef, that future starts now.

Meet Our Master Chefs

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