Barbara Rolek

For the past 25 years, Barbara Rolek has been a food editor, food writer and restaurant critic for daily newspapers and magazines. 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.

Barbara co-authored "Tell Me How Long You Want to Live and I'll Tell You What to Eat to Get There" and currently is a freelance writer. She gives food commentary on the Chicago dining scene at Chicago Ethnic Restaurants Examiner, and has judged the American Pie Council Crisco National Championships in Orlando, Fla.

You can also read more about Barbara's current and past work on her Google Profile: Barbara Rolek. Email her at


Barbara worked as an executive chef and pastry chef for more than 15 years at fine-dining establishments and the commissary of a grocery store chain where she instituted the home-meal replacement program.

She has taught cooking to high school students, culinary students and home cooks with a user-friendly approach that streamlines techniques and demystifies culinary concepts.


Barbara is a graduate of Chicago's 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.

Before switching to the culinary field, Barbara majored in French and computer science.

Barbara Rolek

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.

Eastern European cooking is literally in my blood and I'm anxious to share what I know. Come join me as I take your palate on a magic carpet ride.

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