Class Acts: Michelle Meadows set to take on the culinary world

HOUSTON - Michelle Meadows was introduced to fine dining at a very young age. With both parents working full time, the Meadows family often ate out at restaurants.

"I was really inspired by those flavors but when we wouldn't go out I'd miss them," Meadows said. "I would try at home to replicate them, trying something a little more fancy."

Meadows started cooking simple things like grilled cheese when she was eight years old.

By 13, she was cooking for the family and now she's sharpening her craft at Westside High School's Culinary Academy.

"Michelle understands flavors far beyond people her age," said Chef Robert Holloway, the academy's program director. "She's willing to put in the hard work to make a dish whatever she wants it to be."

Meadows' creativity helped her and fellow culinary academy students create a "Bayou City Banh Mi" sandwich that was served at Super Bowl LI back in February.

"It was really exciting to see all of the work we'd put in turn into a really large deal," Meadows said.

With the goal of becoming an executive chef, the senior is planning to attend The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park.