Art & Culture

New Cooking Teacher at San Benito High School

Julie Carriere says cooking is second nature for her

Julie Carriere, who is the new Consumer Foods ROP teacher at San Benito High School, was raised in the town of Glen in Northern California where she grew up with cooking as her second nature. “If I could reach it, I would cook it,” she said. “I don’t even remember not cooking.”

Carriere has been teaching for 23 years. However, at her last teaching job, Carriere said she was not able to work in the classroom with kids as much as she liked, since her “passion is in the classroom with kids.” She said she saw the available job at the high school as a sign and she took it.

Carriere said that if she had been told back in high school that she was going to become a teacher, she would not have believed it. In college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she majored in home economics just to get into the school, Carriere said she found out that she actually enjoyed cooking and teaching. She said her college professors pushed her to be a better teacher because she “just knew I could do a better job than they did.”

When asked about what her dream job is, Carriere said, “This is it.” She commented that the only way it could be better was teaching people how to cook without having to worry about grades.

Carriere is not just about teaching. She said she loves to travel. She has already been to a number of places but she said she still wants to visit Scotland, Poland, and Slovakia.

Carriere said she had students that have gone on to open their own restaurants, which she wants to visit and see how far they’ve come. Carriere said she doesn’t really have any regrets but she does have a challenge in life: she said that she is usually happy all the time and “when somebody is always happy, people don’t usually take them seriously.”

Carriere expressed how she doesn’t just want to be happy in life, but also in her career. She reevaluates what she’s doing every five years and currently, she said she’s still having fun and enjoying what she does.

“I don’t ever want to feel stuck in a job,” she said.

Students seem to like her attitude and approach to teaching. Junior Silvia Vallejo commented that Carriere is “really nice and funny.” Another student who asked to remain anonymous said that Carriere’s class is “really helpful” and has taught her life skills she will never forget. The student commented how she wanted a class that would be fun and helpful. She said the class is “not too easy, but overall trouble-free.”

This is something that Carriere wants to stress to her students and future students.

“The biggest misunderstanding is that everyone thinks it’s a cooking class. It’s a career in cooking class,” she said.

Students who take the food class get prepared for culinary jobs and opportunities. Carriere said that the students are going to learn and that she wants to be able to send them out into the world, just as this proverb says: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.,

Caitie Gonzalez