Barbara Rolek


Barbara Rolek is a professional chef, food editor, food writer, and restaurant critic for daily newspapers, magazines and websites.




  • Chef
  • Food Editor
  • Restaurant Critic
  • Culinary Arts Instructor
  • Author


  • Washburne Culinary Institute

Certifications and Awards

  • Hoosier State Press Association Award: 2007 - Ketogenic Diet in the reatment of Childhood Epilepsy
  • American Pie Council Crisco National Championships: 2012 - Judge

Detailed Experience

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.

Culinary Arts Instructor

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.

Author and Judge

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.

Barbara's Perspective on Cooking

Barbara grew up in a family where cooking from scratch was not only valued but expected. Her 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 her into the professional culinary world.

Although Barbara has had training in classical French techniques, she finds the most satisfaction in whipping up a bowl of dill pickle soup or finger dumplings; this is comfort food with a capital 'C.' One bite and she is time-warped back to the sights and smells of her grandmothers' kitchens.

Connect With Barbara Rolek

You can learn more about Barbara's work by visiting her profile on LinkedIn.