Yes, Chef! is a culinary camp providing Chicago Public High School students with an opportunity to further their knowledge of the culinary world. Here in our Studio 41 kitchen with all the details is Camp Instructor Chef Lisa Counts and student Aniyah Yancey.

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Orange and Almond Strawberry Shortcakes with Vanilla Whipped Cream
Yield: 6 servings
Active time: 40 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour, 10 minutes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar, as needed for sprinkling
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chiffonade
  • 1/2 orange, zested
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 375º, and line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, measure together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
Add the cold butter, and using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
In a deli container, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until the dough just starts to come together. If the mixture seems too dry, add a splash more buttermilk. Tip: Be careful not to over mix the dough as this will result in tough biscuits.
Transfer the dough to a clean surface, and gently press into a 1-inch thick square. Tip: Take care to handle the dough as little as possible. This will result in light, flaky biscuits.
Using your chef’s knife, cut the biscuits into 2-inch squares. Place on the prepared sheet tray. Sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until just firm to touch and beginning to brown.
While the biscuits are baking, toss together the strawberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, mint and orange zest. Allow to macerate at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
To make the vanilla whipped cream, place the heavy cream in a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract and sugar, and using a whisk, whip until it holds medium peaks (see middle image below).
Assemble the shortcakes just before serving: Carefully slice each biscuit in half crosswise with a chef’s knife or a serrated knife. Place a dollop of the whipped cream on the bottom half. Top with sliced almonds.

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