Hilliard Northwest News

Culinary course caters to budding young chefs


A Hilliard teacher with a lifelong love of cooking is passing along her culinary passion to students at the McVey Innovative Learning Center.

Elizabeth Hummel, a family and consumer science teacher at Davidson High School, wrote a three-day curriculum for students at the MILC.

About 20 students in grades 2-5 completed the course last month.

"It's amazing what you throw at kids and they can just do it," Hummel said.

The course is based in part on a semester course of Global Gourmet that Hummel teaches at Davidson High School.

"We do a different country each week, Asian and Mediterranean and so on," she said.

In the course at the MILC, students learned to make guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo and other food items.

"We also worked on the preparation that is required before cooking the food, such as proper utensils and cutting techniques," Hummel said.

Hummel, who has taught in Hilliard schools for eight years, enrolls in cooking classes and passes along the knowledge to students.

"I've taken classes at Sur La Table and I use what I learn there in the classroom," Hummel said.

A native of Perrysburg in northeastern Ohio, Hummel developed a love for the kitchen at an early age.

"I started cooking when I was about 8 years old. My uncle would pick me up and take me to a grocery store to get all the ingredients to make soup. We called it 'soup Sundays,'" Hummel said.

"At about 2 o'clock, our family would come over and we'd have soup together," she said.

Hummel said she enjoys teaching the classes and passing along her love of cooking to students.

The "Young Chefs" class at the MILC is part of the center's NEXT program, which stands for "new experiences, extra time," and is an after-school and summer enrichment opportunity for students throughout the district.

"All classes are proposed (by our teachers) and then offered to all our students. It strives to offer our students a new learning experience, but also for our (teachers) to share something they are passionate about with our students," said Brent Wise, the district's director of innovation and extended learning.

Archery, sewing and gardening are some examples of other NEXT programs.

"It proved to be a very successful course," Wise said of the cooking session.