The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


‘Seasoned’ Veteran Leaving ACHS

After many years of working at ACHS, beloved Culinary Arts teacher Chef Craig Scheuerman is retiring. He sat down with Theogony to reflect on his career thus far and share his future plans.
Chef Craig Scheuerman poses for a photo. | Photo courtesy of Craig Scheuerman

After 30 years teaching, Culinary Arts teacher Craig Scheuerman, colloquially known as ‘Chef,’ is retiring.

Scheuerman is originally from Kalkaska, Michigan. He first started cooking in his sophomore year of high school after working in some restaurants for extra money. At this point in his life, he had no intention of making a career out of cooking.

“I was actually going to go into woodworking,” said Scheuerman. “I was going to be an industrial education teacher. In high school I made a grandfather clock, a China hutch, a Boston bent-back rocker and a coffee table. So I was actually very interested in that.”

A maple bowl crafted by Craig Scheuerman. |Photo by Craig Scheuerman

However, those plans were put on pause as he decided to not attend Western Michigan University.

“It was like 30,000 people and I was from a very small town. We had 125 students in my graduating class, so it was small. I wasn’t ready for that,” said Scheuerman “So I pivoted and I was going to be a pilot.” In fact, he actually obtained his pilot license.

The whole time Scheuerman was doing this, he was paying for college and flight fees through his jobs at the restaurants. Eventually, everything got very expensive. He also wasn’t eligible for student loans and they quit hiring in the airline industry in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Scheuerman had to make a choice. Reflecting on what he knew, he realized that he really liked cooking.

This caused Scheuerman to work at a ski resort for a year.

“I got to meet up with one of the managers [whose] husband went to Johnson and Wales University. I spoke with him, and I said, ‘I’d like to do this,’” said Scheuerman. “So, I went to culinary school there.”

Although he was doing what he wanted, the first days of culinary school were a bit jarring.

“First day was terrifying. You see Hell’s Kitchen and the chef, his name was Chef Osmania and we called him Chef Ozmanic, he let us know right from the get-go ‘You are here to learn’” said Scheuerman.

Being a culinary school, Johnson and Wales allows students to get straight into cooking rather than having them focus on prerequisite classes as traditional state schools do.

“You’re hopping right in and you do all the areas in your first year and then the second year you go much more in depth so it’s really building layers and building blocks,” said Scheuerman. “It was a great experience.”

Students of Scheuerman’s culinary arts class admire their work. | Photo courtesy of Craig Scheuerman

After he graduated from Johnson and Wales in 1991 with an Associate of Occupational Science degree, he went back to Northern Michigan for a year. There, he worked at the five-star Grand Traverse Resort.

“[I] got to work with some amazing people there and through networking with one of the chefs, I got an opportunity to get my first sous chef job,” said Scheuerman. “At the end of the interview they basically told me I got the job and I’m like ‘So… where is it?’ because I really would have gone anywhere.”

The job ended up being in Leesburg, Virginia. Which was “like destiny” according to Scheuerman as his brother and his brother’s wife live in Leesburg as well.

Scheuerman was at that job for about two and a half years working 80 hours a week.

“It was very, very hard,” said Scheuerman. “I was trying to figure out what I wanted. I did not enjoy working 80 hours a week like that.”

Scheuerman then had the opportunity to teach a college level culinary program at the now closed Stratford University.

Throughout his time there he worked very closely with a chef who also worked at TC Williams (now ACHS).

“I was on [the other chefs] advisory board, I helped with the different student competitions and things like that and when he was retiring 19 years ago, he said ‘Hey, are you interested?’ and I’m like ‘Yeah,’” said Scheuerman.

Junior Eva Magnuson and Chef Craig Scheuerman pose for a photo. | Photo courtesy of Eva Magnuson

This was the perfect move for Scheuerman.

“I love being here at the high school level,” said Scheuerman. “The cool thing about the high school level is all students are going to get a life skill. No matter what. They’re going to get a life skill out of this.”

His students feel similarly.

“Chef is literally my favorite teacher,” said junior Eva Magnuson. “He is so kind to everyone and he always brings a smile to your face by telling a funny joke.”

Reflecting on his years teaching culinary classes, Scheuerman’s favorite meal to teach has been Chicken Andouille Gumbo.

“I serve that for Back-to-School night and when the parents come in, I feed them Chicken Andouille Gumbo and water. They would eat and they really wouldn’t ask any questions and they were very happy.”

Chicken Andouille Gumbo made for Back-to-School night | Photo by Craig Scheuerman

Scheuerman was first introduced to this recipe by the mentor that he went to work for in Leesburg.

“The chef that we worked for opened up a restaurant in New Orleans and the recipe that he has actually came from the authentic Brennan’s family restaurants.” The Brennan’s family restaurants are a chain of restaurants in New Orleans that have won numerous awards.

When it comes to cooking for himself, Scheuerman prefers a dish he discovered 6 or 7 years ago called Peruvian Chicken with green sauce.

“It’s funny no matter who eats it, whenever I do it, I have to make twice as much food for the group that I’m making it for,” said Scheuerman. “They start off and they fix their plate and all of the sudden they’re like ‘Oh I need more!’”

Although Scheuerman has loved teaching, he recognizes he is ready to leave ACHS.

“I have worked with food for 42 years. This is my 30th year teaching. And I am just ready for something different,” said Scheuerman. “I mean it’s as simple as that. I’m ready.”

“I’m going to miss coming into Chef’s room just saying ‘Hi’ or filling up my water bottle and having a quick chat,” said Magnuson.

“I was actually looking at leaving last year because you know we figured out where we were and I could have left last year but what I really wanted to do is be able to turn my program over to the next person, have everything ready to go,” said Scheuerman. “When I was hired it was ‘Here! You’re the teacher, figure it out!’ and I really wanted to be able to hand it off and let the person see.”

With retirement Scheuerman plans to pick back up with woodworking as he is going to be starting ‘Chef Craig’s Woodcrafts’ along with volunteering to help build things like wheelchair ramps all while staying in the area.


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  • M

    maryanne quirkJun 6, 2024 at 6:48 am

    Wonderful Craig!

  • R

    Roger ScheuermanJun 6, 2024 at 4:34 am

    Loved the article…… congrats. From number 3