“Chartwells is proud to be a part of this wonderful event with Cooking up Change,” said Margie Saidel RD, Vice President of Nutrition for Chartwells
Rye Brook, NY (PRWEB) June 02, 2011
Chartwells School Dining Services is pleased to congratulate the winning team from Jacksonville, FL in the 2011 Cooking up Change National Healthy Cooking Contest. The finals were held at the USDA headquarters in Washington, DC on May 23rd. The students, Alexus Baldwin, Leoniqua Jackson and Denver Singletary, hail from Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology, part of the Duval County Public School district which Chartwells serves. The team impressed the panel of judges with their menu of Caribbean-inspired beef rib salad with Moroccan rice and a sweet potato corn bread muffin.
As a national sponsor, Chartwells worked with Healthy Schools Campaign to host qualifying contests over the last few months in five cities across the country. The contest challenged teams of high school students studying culinary arts to create a healthy, great-tasting school meal with only six steps of preparation, using ingredients commonly available to school food service and many of the other constraints that school nutrition professionals face.
The six teams of finalists included teams from Chicago (IL), St. Louis (MO), Denver (CO), Winston-Salem (NC), Jacksonville (FL) and Washington, D.C. Honorable mentions went to two Chartwells school locations. Students from Chicago’s Richards Career Academy, Gerardo Garcia, Ruby Gutierrez and Claudia Ramirez won “Outstanding Side Dish” for their fruit and vegetable-infused “Soup of Sunshine.” Students Corrine Hertz, Hayden Cramer and Isaac Barham, representing Winston-Salem’s Career Center, won “Outstanding Display” for their menu of pulled chicken BBQ sandwich, baked sweet potato fries and a yogurt-fruit parfait.
“Our challenge was to create a healthy meal so students could eat vegetables without knowing they were in there,” said student chef Ruby Guttierez, Chicago, of the team’s Soup of Sunshine dish. “Our goal was to keep it simple, simple, simple, because kids can be picky eaters like I used to be,” said student chef Corrine Hertz of the Winston-Salem team, adding that they created a recipe with a slow-cooked flavor that was easy for cafeteria workers to duplicate in schools.
The panel of judges included renowned chefs, farmers, grassroots organizations, legislative departments as well as representatives from the Secretary of Education, Secretary of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, American Federation of Teachers, and the Let’s Move Initiative. “Chartwells is proud to be a part of this wonderful event with Cooking up Change as we believe in the students’ power to create both a meal and the message that reaches their peers on a national level,” said Margie Saidel RD, Vice President of Nutrition for Chartwells, also a panel judge.
The winning team from Jacksonville entered the competition because they enjoyed the challenge: to create a healthy, tasty menu that fit within nutritional guidelines. “This competition really showed us the mission behind the cooking,” said sophomore Singletary. Carla Jackson, assistant principal was beyond excited for her team and Chartwells Chef Katie Self. “Chef Katie Self was truly ‘selfless’ as she helped the students prepare for the competition,” said Jackson, “The kids had the vision worked as a team; implementing, refining and redefining. Chef Katie guided them while letting them do their thing.”
The winning team receives a medal and trophy; a full set of cookware; a generous gift certificate to a cooking-supply store and a fabulous fine-dining culinary experience in their home town. The team will also enjoy a special dinner at a local, sustainable fine-dining restaurant and have a chance to go behind the scenes with the chef.
Not surprisingly, the Jacksonville team intends to seek culinary careers. To which, a very proud Jackson advised, “Establish your vision, work the plan and never give up.”
To learn more about Cooking up Change and view photos of the event, visit: http://www.cookingupchange.org
About Healthy Schools Campaign
Healthy Schools Campaign, an independent not-for-profit organization, is a leading authority on healthy school environments and a voice for people who care about our environment, our children, and education. We work with students, parents, teachers, school nurses, administrators, community members and others to advocate for policies and practices that allow all students, teachers and staff to learn and work in a healthy school environment. Learn more at http://www.healthyschoolscampaign.org.
About Chartwells School Dining Services
Chartwells, a division of Charlotte, NC-based Compass Group, provides dining services for over 550 public school districts and private schools, comprising over 6,000 separate elementary, middle and high schools nationwide. For more information about Chartwells School Dining Services, visit http://www.eatlearnlive.com.