My name is Kayla Schmelz, a senior biology major and nutrition minor at the College of Saint Benedict. When I'm not at dance practice, studying for anatomy test, or an EMT on call at Saint John’s, you can find me in the kitchen updating my food blog, "The College Dish," an Instagram based food blog geared towards college students, and inspiring them to cook.
My interest in creating a food blog has stemmed from a longtime love of cooking. Some of my favorite days as a child involved helping my mom in the kitchen; specifically, licking any batter filled bowl I could find. By ten years old, my favorite shows were found on the Food Network and if I wasn’t watching that, I was re-watching episodes from my Rachael Ray box sets. While it seemed odd at the time that one of my greatest childhood passions was learning to cook, I could not be more thankful for this knowledge as a now, college student.
Entering college, I realized that my love for cooking was not shared by all. In fact, many of my friends lacked some of the most basic skills when it came to cooking and looked to me for recipe ideas and advice. It was not that they were not capable; they had simply not taken the time to learn - a phenomenon common among many college students. I'm a strong believer that today's high-schoolers and college students are the next generation of parents, teachers and even dinner party hosts – learning to cook is important! More importantly, with diet related illnesses so prevalent in today's society, it is critical for young people to take control of their own health. I believe that one way to do this is to spark an interest in cooking with fresh ingredients, eliminating the need for drive through dinners or sodium packed Ramen for every meal.
With this in mind, I set forth to create an Instagram based cooking blog with college students in mind. My blog, "The College Dish" works to present simple, yet delicious recipes that college students can manage with limited time, money and space. I hope to inspire students to think outside of the box and find that healthy eating can be achieved on a college budget, and even from a dorm room equipped with nothing but a mini fridge and microwave. Now only a few months old, my blog has grown from a small following of my Bennie and Johnnie friends, to nearly 10,000 followers from more than 250 universities around the country. It's exciting to me that the interest I hoped would be present in inspiring college students to cook, is most definitely there!
While my love for cooking developed early on, my passion has only grown during my time at CSB as a biology major and nutrition minor. My time in class learning about nutrition and health has made me even more passionate about inspiring college students across the country to take control of their health and wellness through the preparation of delicious and healthy meals!
I have so much passion and enthusiasm to share with my peers and it would be an honor for the CSB/SJU community to hear about how my passion for cooking, nutrition, and college students has only grown through the lessons I've learned here at CSB. The students at CSB/SJU have been so supportive of my venture and are constantly inspiring me to continue, or sending me pictures of the recipes they recreated from my blog – it always makes me smile! I truly believe that my time here at CSB has given me the confidence and motivation to pursue one of my greatest passions through the creation of my food blog. Being surrounded by so many talented and creative women at Saint Ben’s has only further encouraged me to continue doing what I love. Most recently, I’ve begun
contributing recipes for thelala.com, the leading online website for bright and adventurous college women. It has been an exciting honor to have my images and recipes displayed on a website that receives over one million unique views each month. It has been so much fun turning one of my greatest passions into something I can share with others!
Thank you very much for taking the time to hear my story and learn a little bit about me, and The College Dish. If you would like to view some of my recipes and the actual blog itself, you can find it at https://instagram.com/thecollegedish.
Kayla S. ’16 | Shakopee, Minn.