Chef Callahan Brews It Up

Live, laugh, eat!


Erica Mae Valdellon, Spotlight Editor

Chef Jennifer Callahan is one of our new culinary teachers at Glendale High School. She was born in Virginia and moved around a lot, due to one of her parents being on duty in the military. 

Chef Callahan then lived in Hawaii, where she grew up most of her life, and she eventually moved to San Francisco and then Long Beach. Her favorite hobbies are roller skating and paddling, and aside from her hobbies, she teaches three different levels of Culinary at GHS. 

Before coming to our school, Chef Callahan attended the University of Hawaii.  After graduation, she became an executive chef, a personal chef, and an R&D chef. She also worked at Google as one of their cafe chefs. After her job at Google, she taught at Rancho Alamitos High School and Santiago High School before coming here. 

When Chef Callahan decided to come here to GHS, our principal, Dr. Benjamin Wolf, interviewed her and told her that our students are passionate about the culinary program. Chef Callahan felt that, by taking this job, the students here would be committed to this program, which made her appreciate the like-minded people at our school. 

Chef Callahan’s favorite part of being a teacher is sharing all of the skills that she has acquired over the years. She has collected a vast amount of knowledge from her years in catering, including how things can turn out either successfully or unsuccessfully and information about the variety of foods on this earth.

Chef Callahan mentioned that the most difficult aspect of being a teacher is all of the emails she receives over the course of the day. She feels bombarded with all of this constant information. 

Chef Callahan receives a jersey from Paolo Sosa on the day of the Homecoming Game on October 27, 2022.

Apart from that, Chef Callahan is excited to work with her advanced kids, those who are in her Culinary 5-6 and 7-8 classes. She wants to see how they accomplish the tasks that she assigns to them, and hopefully, later on, she hopes to do a lot of catering with them and collaborate with outside businesses. She feels that the students here are wonderful, and she loves their positive and enthusiastic attitudes. 

One thing that Chef Callahan would change about public school education, in general, is that there should be an easier way to implement programs in schools. All students should be able to take advantage of these opportunities and have easier access to their materials. 

Chef Callahan’s advice to young people is that, if they have the opportunity to travel, they should go for it and not feel pressured to have kids. Something that she wants our students to know about her is that she is easy to talk to and she’s open to talking about anything.

Chef Callahan is excited to be part of the Nitro community, and she hopes to participate more in our various activities and events this year. In the future, her long-term goal is to stay at GHS, since changing jobs is hard. She feels that “the water is flowing for her” on our campus, and she hopes that she might finally call GHS her permanent home.

If you are interested in joining the GHS Culinary program, please talk to your counselor! Let’s get cooking, Nitros!