Culinary on a whole new level: from teens to adults

Maize Career Academy instructors Anne Cordell and Cara Poole teach night culinary classes through the Maize Recreation Center not just for the extra money, but because they love teaching people about how to make great food.


Photo by Hailey Blurton

Mrs. Poole and Ms. Cordell prepare for their culinary class on Wednesday, March 8 at 6:00 p.m. Mrs. Poole taught the Wednesday night rec how to prepare cinnamon rolls from scratch.

Hailey Blurton and Colton Forrest

The smell of fresh dough fills the room. The sound of rolling pins hitting the counter echoes throughout the kitchen. The ovens are turned on making the room feel slightly warmer. People are smiling and laughing; their hands are completely covered in flour.

Both cooking and baking are taught in Mrs. Poole and Ms. Cordell’s Maize Rec Center culinary classes; from cookie decorating to chicken pot pie. Anyone over the age of 14 can take these culinary classes with a $30.00 fee. People living outside of the Maize district will have to pay an extra $5.00. These classes are held about once a month in the Maize Career Academy from about 6:00-8:00 pm. on Wednesdays.

The students are excited about the class and just want to jump right in, but Ms. Cordell has to track back and think about how some of the students haven’t been in a culinary class before. She has to slow down and focus on the way she teaches.

“Everybody just really enjoyed it and jumped right in,” Cordell said. “But I feel like I had to slow down and think about even just the basics of teaching; realizing that people don’t know the consistencies and things like that.”

Overall, the instructors believe that working with adults is easier than working with teens in the cooking class due to their ability to listen better to instructions and work more cohesively as a team on projects. (Visual by Colton Forrest)

When you’ve always been taught to make the same things or follow the same family recipes, branching out and trying something new can be challenging.

“I think people like to do something different. For some of them it’s like a stretch of their skills; something they’ve never tried or done before,” said Cordell. “You know we all get into our habits of making things based on what we’ve grown up with. Here, they kinda stretch their boundaries on things they didn’t expect to like.”

Helping people make things they’ve always wanted to try is one of the things Mrs. Poole enjoys the most about teaching this class. Poole feels very accomplished when people talk to her about how much they loved the dish.

“When people make a good product; like when I’m able to show them that it’s possible that they can make something they didn’t think they could make. It’s fun for me when they do that or when they try something they haven’t tried before and like it,” said Poole. “I see people in public all the time who will say ‘Hey, I made this!’ They will tell me that they made this and their family really liked it. So that’s fun for me.”

Switching from teaching teens to adults can be a transition for teachers that spend most of their day with teens. Ms. Cordell thinks of this as an advantage and takes the new information she learns and uses it to improve her teaching methods.

“I think having adults in these classes gives me a different perspective,” said Cordell. “Some of the questions they ask, I feel like I can take back to the classroom and kinda give more. Just kinda a better way of teaching it; giving a little more direction.”