Meet Laura Hofer, the chef behind South Salem High’s culinary program

This is part of a weekly series introducing readers to individuals who are passionate about our Mid-Valley community.

At the back of South Salem High School, chaos is afoot. But only good trouble, in the form of giggly students weaving in and out of the kitchen. Amidst the delicious aromas, they work together on learning the ins and outs of cooking, rules of the kitchen and other food adjacent topics. Their leader? Culinary instructor chef Laura Hofer, homegrown Salemite who, after almost two decades of cooking in the industry, returned and teaches her passion.

“It’s literally the best job in the world,” Hofer said. “It’s so fun! I get to teach my passion to the students, and my goal is to encourage students that if maybe college isn’t the path, but think about trade school or going straight into industry.”

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