Berried alive

Kadlec fights for culinary and baking classes because of her upbringing


Alexis Schwartz

Alexis Schwartz, Contributing Writer

Timer’s going off in the kitchen. Oven doors swinging open. Melanie Kadlec had been teaching culinary classes for 18 years at McHenry East Campus and this is her first year at McHenry West Campus. She teaches Culinary 1, Culinary 2, Baking and Pastry, and Warrior Chef. Kadlec’s impact on culinary is bigger than just teaching a class but culinary in general and how it’s impacted at MCHS.

Kadlec has had such an amazing experience teaching kids how to cook. “I love to cook and I wanted to make sure I could pass on my knowledge of cooking to my students,” stated Kadlec. She tries to make the class a good environment where students want to keep coming back. “I try to relate with them and teach something they enjoy learning about,” informed Kadlec. She tries giving them good lessons on how to cook and what they cook. Kadlec’s favorite part of teaching is “interacting with students and seeing them create things they didn’t think they could.”  She tries getting difficult things to make and likes to see the reactions of students once they complete it. 

Kadlec believes culinary is a great class to take and has so many benefits for your future. “I think culinary classes are important for several reasons,” stated Kadlec. She believes that culinary helps get you ready for your future. “Cooking is a life skill, students learn how to work collaboratively, and culinary is a great career pathway for many students to take.” informed Kadlec. She is saying that you need to know how to cook for your future and for when you are living on your own. 

Most people might not know what actually happens in culinary classes. “I think people who think our classes aren’t worthwhile are unsure of what exactly we do in our classes,” stated Kadlec. She believes they really don’t know what we do and how impactful her culinary classes truly are. “ I also think sometimes the students’ wants are overlooked, and they are being placed in courses they may not have an interest in,” implied Kadlec. Some people at MCHS do not want kids taking culinary classes and want them to take other classes.

Staff members at MCHS try getting students to take their own classes instead of culinary. “It is a shame because I am approached by students regularly who tell me they wish they could have taken culinary courses but are always told that they are full or that they should focus on another area instead.”

Kadlec explains her passion for culinary classes. She enjoys teaching students the basics and skills in the kitchen to get students ready for the future. She doesn’t believe that other staff members truly understand what happens in culinary classes. In the world of culinary don’t judge a book by its cover.