Barbara Rolek is a professional chef, food editor, food writer and restaurant critic for daily newspapers, magazines and websites, including the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, Times of Northwest Indiana, Gary Post-Tribune, Epicurean and Midwest Living magazines, Examiner.com and About.com.
Food & Cooking Expertise
Barbara is a graduate of Washburne Culinary Institute, one of the oldest cooking schools in the nation where she won a scholarship from the Anheuser-Busch company, and distinguished herself with outstanding performance as a student. She is the winner of a 2007 Hoosier State Press Association Award for a story on the ketogenic diet in the treatment of childhood epilepsy.
Among her side interests is teaching culinary arts at The Cooking Academy of Chicago, Ivy Tech State College and mentoring the Careers through Culinary Arts Program at Corliss High School in Chicago. Her teaching philosophy is to demystify culinary concepts with streamlined techniques and a user-friendly approach to cooking.
Barbara co-authored "Tell Me How Long You Want to Live and I'll Tell You What to Eat to Get There" and judged the 2012 American Pie Council Crisco National Championships in Orlando, Florida.
- "I grew up in a family where cooking from scratch was not only valued but expected. My maternal and paternal grandparents brought back the traditions and recipes they committed to memory from their native Poland.
- "Their stories and passion for Old World cooking lit a spark that pushed me into the professional culinary world. And, although I've had training in classical French techniques, I find the most satisfaction in whipping up a bowl of dill pickle soup or finger dumplings – comfort food with a capital 'C.' One bite and I'm time warped back to the sights and smells of my grandmothers' kitchens.
- "I'm anxious to share what I know. Come join me as I take your palate on a magic carpet ride."