Molly Maciejewski was already on her way to earning a bachelor’s degree in English when she discovered her true career passion—cooking. She completed that degree and then enrolled in Moraine Park Technical College’s Culinary Arts program.
Molly started working in restaurants as a waitress and bartender when she was 18 years old. During her sophomore year in college she got a job in the kitchen of a Spanish/Asian fusion restaurant. Her next job was line cook at the Victorian Village Resort in Elkhart Lake.
“That really solidified the career path I wanted to take,” she recalls. During her studies at MPTC Molly worked at the American Club in Kohler, starting as a line cook at a pasta station. Next she made pastries for the Immigrant Restaurant. Her final job there was working in the kitchen of Craverie Chocolatier Café.
The commute from Fond du Lac to Kohler was tricky, but her MPTC instructors helped Molly balance school with work and helped her fit in the courses necessary to graduate.
“I appreciated the professors’ willingness to tailor the class experience to the level of student experience,” she added.
After graduation, Molly became an assistant chef and café manager for the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan. In 2010, the owners of Madison Sourdough wanted to open a café and they hired Molly as the executive chef. She developed the menu from scratch, incorporating the great bread and locally sourced ingredients into many of the recipes. A few years later she became general manager.
“My advice to students is work in the industry,” Molly suggested. “School gives you the foundation and techniques, but you learn the most by doing. Having said that, you should be realistic about how many credits you can take while you are working. Take advantage of extra experiences like the Culinary Club.”