The culinary go-getter


Natalia Alvarez

Patrick and Hughey prepare oatmeal using steel cut oats and items found in the classroom. Creating a decent dish requires a lot of forethought in the class and during competition. Regularly, students must create dishes from new and interesting ingredients, making them work even harder for amazing results. “[Anijah] and her partner had to formulate a plan and formulate a dish, and turned it into a Mexican street taco dish,” Hughey said.

Morgan Brown, Reporter, Photographer

North Cobb students and organizations sometimes lack recognition for the hard work they put in everyday and what they work to achieve. People in Culinary Arts class like senior Anijah Patrick, a dedicated student who pours herself into cooking, and Chelsea Hughey, the Culinary teacher who works to see students prosper and learn lifelong lessons, exemplify those who deserve a spotlight.

Anijah Patrick, a natural-born cook, began cooking when she turned five. She cooked breakfast for her family on Sundays, and expanded the tradition, now cooking almost every other day. Throughout her life, her family inspired and encouraged her to better herself and cook more.

“I’ve always wanted to cook. It was just something that was always interesting to me and it runs in the family,” Patrick said.

Madeline Powers
Senior Anijah Patrick stands at her prep station and discusses her love for cooking. The kitchen, a second home to her, plays an important part in practicing for cooking competitions. “She is willing to work hard, she is willing to practice her skill, and she is willing to better herself at her skill,” culinary teacher Chelsea Hughey said.

Although culinary plays an important part in her life, she still participates in clubs outside of school and hones in on her cooking skills. FCCLA, the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America, her favorite club, incorporates cooking as well, keeping Patrick in her element year around.

“[Anijah’s] a culinary go-getter,” Hughey said, “A lot of kids come in and I ask them what they made over the summer and a lot of them say ‘I made cereal.’ Anijah’s rattling off all the things she made, so she’s definitely very passionate about being in the kitchen.”

Hughey, as Culinary Arts teacher, has taught Patrick since her first class, Intro into Culinary. Moving up together, they developed a bond evident in the kitchen. Hughey taught three years of culinary elsewhere, but found a home at North Cobb.

Although she acted as both the Culinary Arts teacher and the Intro Into Childhood Education teacher, she accepted a position as a full time Culinary teacher this year. Taking a leap, she stands excited to welcome in this new school year, hoping to see her students grow as individuals.

“What I have to ask myself is: even if they don’t go into the industry, what have I taught these kids?” Hughey said.

Natalia Alvarez
Hughey looks on as Patrick begins cooking. Hughey, a dedicated individual herself, pushes to see others better their culinary skills. “That passion [for an activity] is what drives how well you’re going to be at something,” Hughey said.
Culinary and FCCLA hold competitions at least four times a year where students plan meals to present in front of judges who pick apart the details of the dishes presented. Competitions take months to prepare for, yet Patrick managed to win three competitions in the past two years. Competitions stand as the biggest test of a student’s talent and showcase the participant’s culinary capabilities.

“She’s a dessert girl. She usually makes the dessert in the competitions. She did an apple galette, and it was really good,” said Hughey.

Though those who “can’t stand the heat, should stay out of the kitchen,” through hard work and dedication, Anijah Patrick and Chelsea Hughey show how constant challenges and continuous growth play a key role in cooking, making Culinary Arts a challenge and a delight for students to participate in.

Natalia Alvarez
Hughey talks about the process of cooking from start to finish, using oatmeal as an example. Her seven years of experience as a teacher shines through.