She’s been by her mother’s side in the kitchen since she could walk. She’s had one night each week to make dinner for her family. She started out cooking frozen chicken nuggets and Spongebob Kraft Mac & Cheese. Now, junior Nora Engelken has graduated to lemon parmesan angel hair pasta with shrimp as she attends Broadmoor Culinary School for half her school day
With a forte of baking, Nora took on the task of her father’s birthday cake. She bakes her “Too Much Chocolate” cake for her chocolate-loving dad every September. Drizzled over the chocolate bundt cake with chocolate chips is a chocolate frosting with Hershey’s kisses, Reese’s and Snickers melted into it.
Her grandfather is a wheat farmer, so every year Nora’s family goes to help with the harvest. She and her mother cook cauliflower, rice, spaghetti and squash for the 10-12 workers there, which they have done this for years.
Not only has Nora enjoyed her family traditions, she has taken such an interest in food that she plans to make it her career.
Nora has different ideas for what she could do with her talent in the future. She has thought about becoming a food scientist that tests companies’ foods. Another consideration is to open a restaurant after making her way up in the food industry. A dream she and her mother have is to open a bakery together. Attending Broadmoor every afternoon helps her pursue her ambitions.
“Later in life, [my mom] wants to open a bakery and she wants me to help her with that,” Nora said. “She’s always wanted to own a small business so this seemed like a good opportunity. I would like to open my own restaurant if I ever get there, but it takes a lot of skill and practice.
Spencer Knipper, Nora’s sister’s boyfriend, introduced the Engelkens to Broadmoor. He was in the program, and was a top chef. Broadmoor was always an option for her, but it wasn’t until freshman year Nora really started thinking about it.
“I was the one that brought [Broadmoor] to the table,” Nora said. “[My mom] wants me to do something in the culinary business, but she wasn’t really sure if I should do Broadmoor or do something else or stay at East and take advanced foods, but I was like ‘I wanna go to Broadmoor, I wanna do this.”
Going to Broadmoor is time consuming for Nora. She takes her four core classes in the morning at East: U.S. History, AP English 11, Honors Pre-Calc, and AP Bio 2. Then she goes home for a 30 minute lunch, drives to Broadmoor for culinary school and then back to East for cross country.
Nora says she was intrigued by Broadmoor immediately, but she had to think about it a lot because it takes up a lot of the day. Her counselor questioned her choice also because it takes up so much time.
“The issue that students may run into is finding a way to work the travel time to Broadmoor into their schedule,” Elizabeth Molgren, Nora’s counselor, said. “It helps if the student communicates their interest in a program as early as possible with their academic counselor. This way there is time to plan how to accommodate Broadmoor courses while still meeting graduation requirements at SME.”
“What she is going to miss out on is electives,” Nora’s mother, Lisa Engelken said. “I’m a big supporter of the orchestra program, and she was a bass player in the orchestra program and I’m sad that that’s not a part of her curriculum anymore.”
Nora knows cooking and baking are what she wants to do with her life. Even knowing she had to give up six years of orchestra as well as time with her friends, she decided that anything that will help her pursue her dreams of cooking and make her a better cook is worth it.