Sarah Carman and Kalee Wright

Sarah Carman and Kalee Wright

At a Glance

Name: Sarah Carman (Mother)
Major: Culinary Arts

Name: Kalee Wright (Daughter)
Major: Culinary Arts

Q & A
  • Why did you choose ACM and your major?
    I’ve always loved cooking and from childhood on I knew I wanted to be a chef.

    KALEE: I’ve been cooking professionally for ten years, and for the longest time, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. However, cooking has always made sense to me, and seemed like a no-brainer when it was time to enroll in classes.
  • What made you choose Allegany College of Maryland?
    It was local and convenient, especially as a young single mother.

    KALEE: My mother was a part of the opening class at the Gateway Centre, and it made sense for me to come back to a place that was so familiar.
  • How was/has your experience been at ACM?
    SARAH: I absolutely love my experience! Dave, Deb, and Debbie were awesome instructors at the culinary school. To this day we still keep in touch and they have always been very supportive of my ventures.

    KALEE: It’s a fantastic culinary program and being in the community that it is in, is a major plus.
  • Did/ Are you working while attending College?
    SARAH:  I worked full-time at the Oxford House restaurant while attending the Culinaire Cafe.  Super convenient to finish class and walk across the street to work.

    KALEE: Yes, the ongoing joke is I have 50 different jobs. I’m the Sous Chef at Mise En Place, the sushi roller and ramen slinger at Centre Street Collective, and kitchen help at the Baltimore Street Grill, and in the fall, I will teach CE Classes at the Gateway Centre.
  • What motivates you? Why?
    SARAH: I wanted to be able to pair my passion for cooking with a career to support my family. I believe that to get what you want, you have to work for it.

    KALEE: I want to be the best possible person, and culinarian I can be. I never got to finish art school, and being able to finish this degree and move forward is what motivates me every day. I love being a student, and I love it when people tell me I can’t do something because I love to tell them “Watch me.”
  • What advice would you give future college students?
    SARAH: Time management is key. There are 24 hours in a day, make the best use of them. Also, don’t forget to take time for yourself. You can’t be your best when you are run down and stressed.

    KALEE: Don’t wait. Don’t take a gap year. Keep going, don’t give up. There’s no shame in trying again, even years later. My mother is my biggest inspiration, after 20 years of being out of college, she tried again and is absolutely killing it. If she can do it, and so many other non-traditional students can, you absolutely can. It’s never too late.
  • When did/will you graduate and what were/are your plans after college?
    SARAH: I planned to be a chef and eventually own my own business, as well as own and operate a food truck. Thankfully with a lot of hard work and a strong will, I was able to accomplish those goals.

    KALEE: I will graduate in the Spring of 2024; I want to pursue my bachelor's in culinary arts.
  • What advice would you give to students interested in your career path? 
    Be prepared to work hard. The culinary and hospitality field is tough. There are long hours and sometimes it can be a thankless job. However, it can also be very rewarding. There is nothing better than seeing someone enjoy a meal you created.
  • Who was your favorite ACM faculty/staff member? Why?
    Dave Sanford. That man had and still has the best stories and advice. He pushed me and gave me some awesome opportunities that ultimately shaped my future and who I became as a chef. 
  • What is your greatest achievement in your career?
    I would have to say competing against my daughter in the Chefs of Steel competition this year. It’s pretty awesome to see her following in my footsteps and doing such a stellar job.
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