Each year interested students submit recipes based on a different theme with this year featuring healthy fruit or vegetable side dish
Woodland elementary students competed in the annual Future Chefs of America event by cooking their own recipes in Woodland High School’s commercial-grade kitchen for judging by a panel of guest judges as well as sharing samples with all attendees on Wednesday, March 29.
Each year interested students submit recipes based on a different theme with this year featuring healthy fruit or vegetable side dishes. Finalists are selected to participate in the competition held at Woodland High School where each student presents their recipe for review by a panel of judges.
Recipes from the student finalists included:
- Blackberry, Bacon & Blue Cheese Salad from Ruxson Guajardo (4th)
- Cheesy Potatoes from Lillie Tapani (4th)
- Fruit Skewers with Lime Dip from Bella Donald (4th)
- Red, White & Blue Salad from Maria Lamberg (4th)
- Shrimp Salad from Dalton Feris (3rd)
Each student, paired with a food services employee, prepared enough of their recipe for parents and community members who attended to sample the recipe, as well as a special presentation plate. Chef Dave Williams, Sodexo’s Regional Chef, helped each student select from a variety of small vegetables and herbs to highlight the colors and presentation of their dishes.
Judges selected the Blackberry, Bacon & Blue Cheese Salad as the winner this year, prepared by Ruxson Guajardo, a fourth grader. Guajardo learned how to cook by helping make meals at home.
“My grandma and mom really like to cook, and I enjoy cooking with them,” he said. “The most important lesson I learned cooking at the high school was to pay close attention to following the sanitary rules of regularly washing hands and wearing gloves whenever handling food.” Every student who participated received a cookbook and was allowed to keep their official cook uniform including a Sodexo-branded hat and smock.
In addition to honing their cooking skills preparing their recipes in a commercial-grade kitchen, students also learned proper food handling and hygiene skills as well as utensil handling including how to properly handle knives and scissors. When working with raw meats and food that can contaminate their work area, students learned how to fully clean their working area between steps as well as the importance of washing their hands and changing their gloves regularly.
Woodland Public Schools’ food services provider, Sodexo, sponsors the event to give students an opportunity to exercise their culinary skills and explore food services as a potential career path.
“Food is one of those things that can unite everybody – we can get together over a meal and forget about our struggles and differences,” said Amber Easter, Nutrition Services Director for Woodland. “For me, I love seeing people eat the food I’ve made and truly enjoying it and sharing that with students has been a lot of fun for me.”
Learn more about how Woodland Public Schools educates students and serves the community by visiting the dedicated news webpage at www.woodlandschools.org/news/wsd
Information provided by Woodland School District.
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