"I attended Cook! as a camper more than any other summer camp in my life. The chefs, curriculum, and overall atmosphere of Paulding & Company nurture a dedication to the love of cooking that simply cannot be found anywhere else in the Bay Area. The more time you spend with the chefs in this kitchen, the more you realize how wonderful the process of cooking can be — regardless of the (usually) fantastic results. When you're at Cook!, whether as a camper or an intern, I promise you that you will always find more techniques to learn, more dishes to explore, more flavors to taste, more fun to be had — and most importantly, more to cook."MH
"Paulding & Company has given me the opportunity to gain immeasurable experience with not only skills in the kitchen, but experience in the processes of life... Through their highly interactive leadership and intern program, I was able to learn what it's like to manage responsibility and become a vital piece in running a kitchen. I think the best thing about these programs is the heavy sense of community that each and every one of the head chefs and young cooks possess and how efficiently that translates into working with one another and creating bonds with new people. If you have any interest in food whatsoever, Paulding & Company is the place to go." TD
"In June, I attended a life changing program. It was much more than a cooking camp, it was a place where I knew I was good at something. Cooking is a liberal art that teaches much more then self-expression and creative liberty. While I attended the cooking program, I learned everything that could be taught. I made friends with a girl named Felicia, who had already attended other courses in the past. I also met inspiring cooks, such as Celeste Cooper and Tracy Paulding. It was truly an honor learning from both of these talented women. And for that, I will always be grateful. These two amazing women showed me the stepping stones to opening my own restaurant in the future. My absolute favorite dish to make was the egg pasta because it could be incorporated in a variety of different dishes and it perfectly complemented any sauce. I love eating food, now I love making it as well.
“The main highlight of my children’s summer this year is their participation at the Paulding Kitchen COOK! Creative Culinary Camp. They actually looked forward to attending camp each day. My children, especially my son has always shown great interest in putting ingredients together to create something palatable from a very early age and the camp invigorated this passion in him. In addition to cooking, they learned safe kitchen tools handling techniques (especially the sharps) from a team of culinary experts at the camp. This in turn increased my confidence in allowing my children to help out more in the kitchen. I have been recommending this camp to my friends with young children.” — P.P.
“As a parent and educator I have the opportunity to observe many different learning environments. Tracy and Terry Paulding are doing outstanding work with young people in a learning environment that has been eliminated in most public school settings. Through the lens of culinary arts, they engage students with real life challenges and provide students opportunities to practice social justice. I wish all students could work with these two amazing and talented women!” — D.K.
“We feel privileged to have been a part of the first year of COOK! Creative Culinary Camp at Paulding & Co. My 13 year old daughter participated in the two week session (this year they offered two one-week specialty sessions and two two-week sessions), and every day she could not wait to leave the house to get there, and every day was sad to leave the kitchen. Tracy Paulding had a wonderful manner with the students, and I was astounded with the high level of cooking accomplished in this course. Far from the usual English muffin pizzas taught in kid's cooking classes, the students at COOK! made such things as duck confit, tuna tartare, strawberry shortcake with isomalt sugar, pavlova with passionfruit mango sauce, and the list continues. On top of the great things they made in class, the students met professional Bay Area chefs, and were taken on a back-stage kitchen tour of a major area restaurant. They learned to shop at the farmer's market and to appreciate quality ingredients, and also enjoyed the community service project they performed at the Emeryville Senior Center, serving a lunch of jambalaya to a group of appreciative seniors. Their two weeks culminated in a cooking demonstration and meal for friends and family. I feel the two weeks my daughter spent in the Paulding & Co. kitchen gave her a whole new set of kitchen skills, as well as interest in a possible career path. We are already looking forward to next year's program!” — C. P.
“My 15-year old daughter just finished a fantastic 2-week teen cooking camp at the fully stocked commercial kitchen of Paulding & Co in Emeryville. The kids cooked and ate a wonderful variety of breakfast and lunch dishes each day, learned basic and advanced culinary skills, had lessons from well-known local guest chefs and purveyors, shopped at Berkeley Bowl and ended the session with a team competition of preparing multiple dishes and drinks for a panel of guest judges. They also prepared and served a meal for a local senior center. The instructors were talented and enthusiastic. She came away with new skills, a new appreciation of food, and new confidence. It's tough to find a summer program for teens, let alone a great one like this. Bon Appetit!” — L.T.
“My daughter Kayla went to Paulding & Company in Emeryville for their very first COOK camp!! It was for an entire week of cooking different foods of all nationalities. My daughter described it as “I felt like I was in a different city each day, eating different foods and learning about different cultures” she truly has a passion for all foods and she’s not picky anymore. She also said she’ll try anything once. She want’s to return next summer!! She said the teachers were nice especially Tracy & Joe, she met a lot of new kids her age on the east bay side!! Loved it!! Thanks COOK camp!!” — C.A.
“Just wanted to send you a quick note to tell you that Willem continues to cook, especially from the collection of recipes you sent home with the kids after the first session. I was very surprised one night when he insisted on making dinner -- he had a hankering for Lamb Kofta, which sounded great until I realized that that meant we had to grind the Ras Al Hanout too, and we had to make several trips to Market Hall (just two blocks away luckily) to replace stale spices. It was great, by the way. He's also made a lot of crepes for friends (once three times in one day, including at midnight) and when I got a call from him at camp he said he “couldn't wait to get home to cook.” He's always been very adventurous and savvy about food, but now he's got awesome knife skills and really enjoys participating. We even got in a bit of a disagreement over crepe recipes, which was fun! And the watermelon agua fresca recipe has been used repeatedly in this last hot week. Yum!” — E.S.
“At the end of each day I was very happy with Hailey's eagerness to get back to the team's kitchen and develop a deeper sense of appreciation and respect for the cooking world. In addition to her cooking ability, the camp gave her the opportunity to develop other life skills such as leading others, following directions, public speaking, using resources, and teamwork. I was also very happy to witness the staff's high level of enthusiasm, patience, and dedication - they all seemed to genuinely enjoy the opportunity to work with the children.” — A.L.
“My daughter (aged 13) came home jazzed but tired every day from camp. By the end of the week, she asked to go to the grocery store and cooked us a great meal (with us as sous chefs)—it was excellent! She definitely wants to go back again.” — G.S.
“We absolutely adore everything about Paulding & Company. It's a unique mother/daughter owned and operated commercial kitchen. Our daughter attended their summer COOK! Culinary Programs and she had a total blast! Terry and Tracy are outstanding chefs and fantastic teachers. They also invite special guests, chefs and artisans. We feel that the whole experience was magical and memorable to our daughter. In fact, she asked us if she could have her birthday party at Paulding & Company. Sure enough, it was not a typical birthday party. The kids have been busy learning how to make pizza with various toppings, sushi rolls, decorate birthday cake, but, most importantly, how to have fun while learning cooking! Needless to say, it was our daughter's best birthday party ever! We are grateful to Terry and Tracy for the wonderful experience for our daughter and we highly recommend Paulding & Company to people looking for cooking classes, team building, catering, and special events.” — N.M.