California Students Exercise Creativity, Innovation and Empowerment During Cooking Up Change Competition

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California Students Exercise Creativity, Innovation and Empowerment During Cooking Up Change Competition

11, May 2017 10:25 AM


Every year, the Cooking up Change® contest from the Healthy Schools Campaign allows high school students from low-income schools the opportunity to transform their school lunch menu, develop valuable culinary arts skills and become leaders in school food reform. The Orange County event is coordinated locally through Kid Healthy, a non-profit founded in 2003 with a mission to address health and wellness by engaging school children and families in undeserved families in Southern California. With partners across the country, Cooking Up Change® encourages and empowers students to seek a secondary education in the culinary arts or nutrition sciences. Each team of three student chefs is challenged to create a new lunch menu following a strict set of criteria including: 

  • Utilize only ingredients commonly found in a school cafeteria,
  • Be created with a budget of $1.25 per serving, and
  • All entries must be creative, great tasting and nutritious. 

In Orange County, CA, nine teams competed in the challenge, presenting their meal to an esteemed panel of judges. The winning team  then travels to Washington, DC to compete against teams from Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Phoenix and Oakland, CA. 

This year, La Habra High School placed first with their Indian-Mexican inspired menu of Chicken Kashmir, Pepino Curry and Tropical Kheer (pictured at right). Seniors Isabella Moreno, Yazmin Marquez and Carlos Marquez will now compete in the Cooking up Change national finals, held at the Department of Education in Washington, DC, on June 12th.  

 An excellent showing was also prepared by Valley High School in Santa Ana with Caribbean Chicken over Cucayco (left) and California High School in Whittier placed third and was awarded Best Table Presentation.

Congratulations to all the Orange County winners and kudos to all California students who participated in the 2017 Cooking Up Change® competition. 




Tags: balanced meals culinary arts healthy eating for kids school lunch

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