For single dad Bart Cops, the self-proclaimed Camper Chef, cooking and RV camping go hand in oven mitt.
While passing through Nevada, my husband, Chad, and I had the opportunity to camp out with Bart Cops, who goes by the title Camper Chef on his YouTube channel and Facebook and Instagram pages. With his 1983 Avion travel trailer and our 1976 Airstream Argosy, we found the perfect meeting spot at the back of Red Rock Canyon Campground, not far from Cops’ home in Las Vegas.
Cops not only has a passion for cooking, he is equally delighted to share his gourmet culinary talents with fellow RVers eager to cook meals beyond the typical campground fare. His journey to Camper Chef began after a family vacation when he realized that eating out every day with three young boys was no longer feasible. As a single dad, he had to become creative and learn to cook himself.
Cops and his family are originally from Belgium, where it’s customary to directly source food. While traveling, he’ll seek out local farmer’s markets or drop by the docks for fresh fish. Instead of buying prepackaged goods, he’s learned that it’s easy and affordable to create them himself.
During our campout, Cops taught us how to make pasta from scratch, and shared cooking tips for the road and, above all, the importance of home cooking. “Camping is a social experience, and going to restaurants takes you away from camp,” he explained. “By cooking together, you’re enjoying an experience together, you are learning, and you’re savoring your time without the distractions of modern life.”
Author, photographer and artist Cate Battles travels the country full time with her husband, Chad, in their renovated, mural-painted 1976 Airstream Argosy. The couple’s travel blog, Argosy Odyssey, chronicles their adventures as they tour North America with their pet goat and dog.