Teacher and Chef Chris Polk shows students how to sear a steak.

As he bounces around the Quakertown Community High School culinary arts lab, Chris Polk is in his element, both cooking and giving instruction to his students.

For the last three weeks, the passionate educator has been leading Chefs Camps filled with excited campers. July 24 was perhaps the most special day as a makeshift restaurant – Panther on Park – was set up across the hall.

Under Chef Polk’s direction, students created a delicious four-course meal for eight lucky district employees. The menu included Melon & Cucumber Salad, Caprese Chicken, Surf & Turf, and Chocolate Solo.

“A crazy day,” said Chef Polk. “The kids worked really hard.”

It’s all part of the district’s efforts at summer enrichment, with a robust schedule of activities. The four-day camp – Chef Polk’s third this summer – costs $65, plus materials.

The students prepared meals for eight people at four tables, explaining each course to the diners, who each were asked to write a note to the chefs.

“Each course was amazing,” wrote Joe Kuzo, the district’s director of technology. “Very impressed with how well the pasta came out. The steak was cooked well. Overall, you should be very proud of how professional and tasteful the food was. Thank you!”

During the school year, Mr. Polk teaches the culinary program and Project Lead The Way pre-engineering classes each day. “You get a different type of students, which is fun to see,” he said. He’s also a part-time pastry chef at the Crowne Plaza Reading hotel in Wyomissing.