Let's eat! Gourmet camp food - Camp Zeke

Dining at Zeke

At Café Zeke,  we threw traditional notions of “camp food” out the window! We believe that delicious meals start with locally-sourced ingredients. In fact, campers often see local farmers pulling right up to the dining room to bring in the freshest just-picked produce. Those are also the ingredients campers use in our culinary arts program!

We don’t like processed foods, preservatives, and ingredients we can’t pronounce. Because of that, our chefs make each day’s meals from scratch using only the freshest, most nutritious ingredients.  The result is delicious food that is good for our bodies.

Female cmaper in the kitchen preparing food

What do meals look like?

Our hot main course rotates every day, including scrambled eggs, waffles, pancakes and French toast. We have a cereal station with multiple options, an oatmeal station with various toppings, and a huge cold bar with fruit, yogurt, breads, cheeses, and lots of similar items. We always offer a vegan, gluten free, and dairy free option.

  • Assorted Bagels and Lox
  • Cheese Omelets
  • Cheese, Spinach, and Egg Scramble
  • French Toast and Berry Sauce
  • Home Baked Muffins
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Spinach and Feta Frittatas
  • Vegetable Omelets
  • Pancakes with Maple Syrup
  • Waffles and Berry Sauce
  • Cold Cereal Bar
  • Oatmeal Station and Toppings
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Assorted Yogurts
  • Sliced Cheeses
  • Butter
  • Sun Butter and Jam
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honey Dew
  • Watermelon
  • Sliced Oranges
  • Cut Bananas

You’ll select from main courses like pizza made from scratch, falafel, chicken, and so much more. There also a hot bar that rotates between rice bowls, pasta bowls, and a baked potato station. In addition, we have a huge salad bar at every meal with fresh vegetables, pre-made salads, and all sorts of toppings. We also have a soup station at lunch and dinner with various fresh breads. We always offer a vegan, gluten free, and dairy free option.

  • Assorted Home Made Pizzas 
  • Baked Ziti
  • Cheese Ravioli
  • Lasagna
  • Polenta with Wild Mushrooms  
  • Cuban Black Bean Stew
  • Curried Spinach and Tofu
  • Deli Meat Selection and Toppings
  • Falafel, Israeli Salad and Homemade Hummus
  • Gourmet Grilled Cheese
  • Assorted Chilis (Turkey, Veg, etc.)
  • Perogies and Toppings
  • Spinach and Mushroom Pilaf
  • Quesadillas and Burritos

You’ll choose from a rotating selection of main courses like enchiladas, chicken wings, Chinese buffet, and so much more. There’s always a hot bar that rotates between rice bowls, pasta bowls, and a baked potato station. In addition, we have a huge salad bar at every meal with fresh vegetables, pre-made salads, and all sorts of toppings. We also have a soup station with various fresh breads. We always offer a vegan, gluten free, and dairy free option.

  • BBQ Night: Burgers, Corn, etc.
  • Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Blackened Fish Tacos
  • Cheesy Enchiladas Rojas
  • Chicken and Wild Mushroom Sauce
  • Chicken Marbella
  • Chicken Souvlaki
  • Chicken Wings and Sauces
  • General Tso’s Crispy Tofu and Broccoli
  • Various Curries (tofu, meat, etc.)
  • Herb Grilled Wild Salmon
  • Herb Roasted Chicken
  • Pesto Pasta
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Moroccan Stew
  • Moussaka
  • Chicken Fingers
  • Ratatouille with Roasted Tofu
  • Southern Baked Chicken
  • Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Stew
  • Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables
  • Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • Turkey Bolognese
  • Veg and Meat Tacos
  • Veg and Turkey Meatballs Over Pasta 
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Shepherd’s Pie
  • Chow Mein, Lo Mein, etc.
  • Wild Mushroom Pot Pie

No matter what two entrees we’re serving, we have a rotating hot bar at every lunch and dinner. It switched between three choices:

Potato Bar: Baked Potatoes and Sour Cream, Chopped Scallions, Green Peas, Shredded Cheddar Cheese, “Bacon” Bits

Pasta Bar: Whole Grain Pasta, Tomato-Basil Sauce, Steamed Broccoli, Green Peas, Sautéed Peppers & Onions, Parmesan Cheese

Rice Bar: White or Brown Rice and Chopped Scallions, Green Peas, Corn Kernels, Baby Corn, Chopped Steamed Broccoli, Black Beans

Always a minimum of seven of these items.

  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Chickpeas
  • Red, Yellow, Green Peppers
  • Baby Corn
  • Shredded Cabbage
  • “Bacon” Bits
  • Sliced Mushrooms
  • Raisins
  • Baby Carrots
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Sliced Eggs
  • Hearts of Palm
  • Edamame
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Sliced Beets
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Kidney Beans
  • Cannellini Beans
  • Sliced Pickles
  • Baby Spinach
  • Chopped Cauliflower
  • Chopped Broccoli
  • Yellow Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Croutons
  • Green Peas
  • Celery
  • Green Beans
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Sliced Cucumber
  • Olives

Additional Herbs and Roots

  • Chopped Ginger
  • Chopped Garlic
  • Sliced Lemons/Limes
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Cilantro

Cheeses (rotate between these options)

  • Sliced Cheese
  • Shredded Cheese – Mozzarella or Cheddar
  • Farmer’s Cheese
  • Cubed Cheese – Varies

Protein Items (rotate between options)

  • Tuna Salad
  • Egg Salad
  • Surimi Salad
  • Tofu Salad

Assorted Bread Platters at every salad bar, along with Sun Butter, Jam, and  Butter (and always gluten free breads and segregated spreads at the gluten free buffet table)

Special Salads Options

In addition to the main salad bar, at least one special salad is served at every lunch and dinner.

  • Asian Vegetable Salad
  • Baked Tofu Cobb Salad
  • Cauliflower Salad w/Salsa Verde
  • Chickpea Avocado Salad
  • Corn, Tomato and Bean Salad
  • Greek Salad
  • Hawaiian Salad
  • Homemade Guacamole
  • Israeli Salad  
  • Kale Salad and Maple Mustard Dressing
  • Kale, Apple and Quinoa Salad
  • Lentil Salad 
  • Mango Black-Bean Salad
  • Mango Pasta Salad
  • Mango, Coconut, Cucumber Salad
  • Market Salad
  • Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad
  • Orange, Beet and Bean Salad
  • Orange, Fennel and White Bean Salad
  • Orange, Quinoa with Black Beans
  • Purple Potato and Kale Salad with Cilantro Dressing
  • Quinoa Arugula Salad
  • Quinoa, Corn and Black Bean Salad
  • Red Potato Salad
  • Roasted Butternut & Rosemary Salad w/Cider Dressing
  • Roasted Corn, Avocado and Black Bean Salad
  • Roasted Eggplant Salad
  • Roasted Veggie, Chickpea & Pesto Quinoa Salad
  • Sliced Beets and Onion Salad
  • Southwestern Caesar Salad
  • Spinach-Strawberry Salad
  • Thai Cold Noodle Salad
  • Tri-Color Pasta Salad w/Vegetables
  • White Bean, Potato and Asparagus Salad

A homemade soup will be served at lunch and dinner daily. We always offer a vegan, gluten free, and dairy free option.

  • Butternut Squash and Roasted Apple
  • Carrot-Ginger
  • Chicken Vegetable
  • Cream of Broccoli
  • Cream of Cauliflower
  • Cream of Mushroom
  • Cream of Potato
  • Curried Lentil
  • Egg Drop
  • French Onion
  • Hearty Vegetarian Bean
  • Lentil, Cauliflower, Potatoes and Spinach
  • Minestrone
  • Potato-Leek
  • Roasted Tomato-Basil Bisque
  • Split Pea
  • Sweet and Sour
  • Tomato Vegetable
  • Zucchini Bisque

We also have three snacks a day, including things like hummus and pita chips, fresh fruit, granola bars, and so much more! Campers also LOVE our canteen, which offers a smoothie bar, trail mix, popcorn, and similar delicious and healthy options. Our snacks and canteen options rotate between the selections below. We always offer a vegan, gluten free, and dairy free option.

  • Apple & Cranberry Fruit Bars
  • Assorted Fresh Fruit
  • Assorted Muffins
  • Baked Zucchini Chips
  • Banana/Chocolate Berry Pudding
  • Banana/Coconut Brown Rice Pudding
  • Carrot Cake
  • Chickpea Avocado Dip and Pita
  • Chips and Homemade Salsa
  • Coconut Chia Pudding
  • Fig Bars
  • Fresh Fruit Smoothies
  • Chocolate Dipped Banana Pops
  • Fruit Ice Pops
  • Fruit Salad
  • Home Baked Cookies
  • Hummus and Pita Chips
  • Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Bars
  • Popcorn – With Assorted Toppings
  • Popcorners and Pop chips
  • Soft Pretzel Bites and Mustard
  • Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
  • Trail Mix
  • Veggie Straws
  • Hummus and Veggies
  • Yogurt Parfaits and Fresh Berries
  • Zeagle Balls and Bars
Male camper preparing food in the canteen

It wouldn’t be camp without a canteen!

Campers also LOVE our canteen, which offers a smoothie bar, trail mix, popcorn, and similar delicious and healthy options. Bunks rotate through the canteen a few times a week and campers can choose whatever they want.

Bottomless fruit bowls

We also have bottomless fruit bowls and other snacks that are always out in the dining room. If a camper ever wants an extra snack, they just ask their counselor to swing by Cafe Zeke where they can grab a quick bite, fill up their water bottle with fruit-infused water, and feel energized for their next activity.

Camp is nut and sesame free. We don’t allow nuts or sesame in our dining room or anywhere else in camp. We also enthusiastically accommodate other allergies and special food needs. We actually have a dedicated team of chefs who work in a separate kitchen and specialize in creating meals for campers who are gluten free, have various allergies, or need any other food accommodations.

And don’t worry, if we’re roasting s’mores around a campfire, we always have the option of gluten free graham crackers and dairy free chocolate! Read more about our approach to allergies.

Please contact us at questions@campzeke.org or 212-913-9783 to discuss your camper’s allergies and how our kitchen team can help.

At every single meal, there are countless meat-free, dairy-free, and egg-free options. In fact, we have a whole group of campers and staff who come to us for this very reason! Our chefs love fresh produce and plant-based foods, so meals are always filled with vibrant, colorful and nutritious fruit and vegetable dishes, often featuring lentils, beans, whole grains, tofu, and so much more. Our vegetarian and vegan community members love the food options!

Our kitchen is kosher. For details about our supervision or accepted hechshers, please email questions@campzeke.org or call 212-913-9783.

Close-up shot of a colorful salad

The values that guide our food choices

At Camp Zeke, we are redefining “camp food” through a passionate commitment to a number of core principles:

Every meal at camp is delicious, healthy, artfully-presented, and kosher.

In accordance with our value of embracing Jewish community (k’lal yisrael), our kitchen is a warm, friendly, and transparent environment, just like the rest of camp. Campers and visitors can poke their heads in, ask lots of questions, and really experience how our food is prepared.

Our chef and kitchen staff are also food educators, and our campers often join the process of creating the camp’s meals through our flagship culinary arts program.

Camp is nut free, we offer a dairy-free and gluten-free option at every meal, and even the pickiest eaters have plenty of choices. In addition to the main course, we offer an Israeli breakfast bar every morning, salad bars during lunch and dinner, and fresh fruit all day.

Campers have three scheduled snacks per day so they have sustained energy for their action-packed schedules. We also have bottomless fruit bowls in the dining room in case campers want to grab a snack at any time.

We often eat and cook traditional Jewish foods and contemporary Israeli foods, which we use as a lens into Jewish and Israeli history and culture.

We love minimally processed foods and ingredients we can pronounce. Our chef and kitchen staff painstakingly make each day’s meals from scratch – often with campers’ help – using only the freshest, most nutritious ingredients.

We are active members of the community and rely on many ingredients from the local, family-owned farms around camp.

Campers eat at “Café Zeke,” which is so much more than a dining hall. It has an upbeat, joyful, and song-filled atmosphere in which campers and staff can enjoy meals and warm conversations with other members of the Camp Zeke family.

Friday night Shabbat meals are the most special meals at Cafe Zeke. The campers make our challah, we decorate the tables and walls with art that campers made during the prior week, and everyone dresses in white and blue to create a festive atmosphere.

Our campers have made thousands of friendships, millions of memories, and lifelong skills in athletics, cooking, and joyful Judaism. We are proudly supported by:

  • Jewish Camp
  • Jim Joseph Foundation
  • Avi Chai
  • UJA Federation
  • The Jewish Education Project

We are fully accredited by the American Camp Association