Student Chefs Turn up the Heat in Healthy Cooking Competition

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Westminster High School student chefs win the Orange County Cooking Up Change competition and are heading to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national finals on June 8th, held at the Department of Education.

Three Westminster High School chefs who won the grand prize in the Kid Healthy Cooking up Change® competition, April 23, at Northgate Gonzalez Markets, are heading to Washington, D.C., for a chance at the national prize of creating healthy menus in schools.

Westminster’s team of Elizabeth Castro, Shae Dela Pina, and Jonathan Quispe are led by culinary instructor Dianne Antonio and chef mentor Richard Reilly. The team will take their menu of Mexican Street Tacos, Motherland Esquite, and Peachin’ Empanada to the national competition presented by Healthy Schools Campaign on June 8, at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C. They will compete against teams from Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Memphis, Orlando, Washington, D.C., and Wichita.

Second Place honors went to the team from La Habra High School made up of Desi Fernandez, Samuel Carillo, and Jesus Mendoza, led by culinary instructor Mario Schwarz-Cole and chef mentor Sharon Sullivan.

Third Place was the second team from Westminster High School of Deborah Furbush, Jasmine Reyes, and Robert Arechiga-Silva, also led by culinary instructor Dianne Antonio and chef mentor Richard Reilly.

Cooking up Change® challenges teams of high school culinary students to create menu items that are not only healthy, but also meet nutritional guidelines, strict ingredient and preparation limits that reflect the experience and capacity of school food service. The program allows students to get involved in the conversation as campuses across the country strive to serve healthy great-tasting school food. Local culinary industry experts serve as mentors to each team and a panel, made up of community members, serve as the judges to evaluate each menu to determine the winner.

The Cooking up Change® Healthy Cooking Contest in Orange County is generously supported by a team of sponsors that includes: Northgate Gonzalez Market, Aetna Foundation, Alta Med, Cox Communications, Taco Bell, Kraft Foods and more.


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Linda Franks
Kid Healthy
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