Oak Park and River Forest High School is currently looking for a part-time teacher in culinary arts.

 Skills that would be covered include culinary math/measuring, safety and sanitation practices, knife skills, baking and pastry, and related culinary topics. No teacher’s certificate is required.

According to Semaj Coleman, Fine & Applied Arts Division head, “we have so many student requests for these culinary positions that we have more classes than we have teachers to teach the classes. Teachers can only teach a certain amount of classes.” Coleman attributes the sudden interest in cooking to the pandemic, and the year-long quarantine that came along with it. “I think when we were all forced to be home, a number of us tried to come up with different things that piqued our interest,” Coleman said.

“A lot of people wanted to take up knitting, a lot of people wanted to be part of book clubs and things of that nature. I really do think that a lot of our students, as well as other people in our community, decided to take up cooking as a means to develop a habit during the pandemic when everybody was locked in their houses. The passion that they have for cooking has stuck with them.” 

The culinary arts are part of a larger program that includes other ambitious subjects, including baking and pastry, global foods, and in what Coleman termed “a crossover between culinary and physical education,” a class devoted to fitness and foods.

 Coleman stressed that the new addition would be joining a distinguished staff. 

“We’re looking for a high-quality individual to work with the professionals that we already have. They do amazing things, I see it on a daily basis, I think our community sees it, our school board and our administration staff sees it. We’re looking for someone that could match the energy, match the expertise that we have.” 

Applicants are required to have four years (or 8,000 hours) in a culinary field. For more information contact Semaj Coleman at scoleman@oprfhs.org or 708-434-3257.

Join the discussion on social media!