Cooking Teacher Has Recipe for Success

by Frank Platko ‘18

When Sherwood’s tenured FACS (Family and Consumer Science) teacher Kim Cannon decided the 2015-2016 school year would be her last, she wanted to make sure her position would be in good hands. She knew exactly how to assure this would happen.

She asked longtime friend, Lisa Gilbert, to replace her. Gilbert was hesitant to the idea at first because her commute to Watkins Mill, where she had been teaching cooking for the past 17 years, was significantly more convenient than driving to Sherwood. But after visiting the school and going out to dinner with Cannon and a few students, she was sold by the environment and opportunity here at Sherwood.

“Over the 17 years I’ve been teaching cooking, I have watched students fall in love with food and cooking. I have many students who have become chefs and have had the joy of watching them grow. I see former students all the time that had no intention of cooking for a living and now are working in the industry,” said Gilbert.

This past year, she received recognition for her efforts as inspiring students. Mary Yeates, the current foods teacher at Forest Oaks Middle School, nominated Gilbert for the 2016 Maryland FACS teacher of the year. She won the award; an example of just one of many teaching accomplishments.

To become a teacher, Gilbert had to take two classes a week for two years. The career change was largely influenced by Yeates, whom she had been advising on culinary techniques. Yeates strongly encouraged Gilbert to become a teacher.

After growing up with an interest in fashion, she shifted towards cooking upon her marriage. Her first culinary-related profession was in the business of cake-decorating, while also working as an event planner for Michael’s. She did both at the same time for four years.

“My most creative cake has to be a flower-basket one, which had a basket filled with and surrounded by flowers,” said Gilbert. Her organization, Wilton Cake Decorating and Recipes, was ranked second in the nation for two years in a row.

Following her stint in cake-decorating she began to indulge in cooking food. Experienced and skilled, she’s had no trouble carving herself a culinary path. Very few successful cooks have the patience and drive to pass along their work to others, but Gilbert is a rare commodity. Inspiring others with her work and winning competitions along the way, success for Mrs.Gilbert is a piece of cake.