Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Posts tagged: Cooking up Change

Cooking Up Change Competition Kicks Off in Chicago

“Cooking Up Change” involved more than one hundred students and over 700 guests.

“Cooking Up Change” involved more than one hundred students and over 700 guests.

This November I served as a judge in the 2013-14 kick off Cooking Up Change competition here in Chicago. What is “Cooking Up Change”?  It’s a culinary competition sponsored by the Healthy Schools Campaign that challenges Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students and others across the U.S to create and prepare meals that are healthy and tasty and also follow National School Lunch Program requirements. This competition empowers students to have a voice about school meals and nutrition. On top of that, it’s a lot of fun for everyone involved!

The day of the competition I prepared by reviewing the rules, reading meal requirements, and skipping lunch. When I arrived at the event, I was impressed to see how many fellow judges there were and the wide range of food experts sitting around me. The competition got started and teams from fourteen schools started presenting their meals to us. The students brought in three or four cafeteria trays and gave each judge a sample. Judging was based on visual appearance, taste, presentation, and originality. Some students set themselves apart by being very well-polished when explaining the dishes, or by adding some creativity with music and costumes that reflected the meal’s ethic background. The competition was really tough, and ranking thee dishes was no easy task. Every meal had something that stood out, and often I found myself saying “I would order this at a restaurant!” Each dish was so delicious that by the end I could not eat one more bite! Read more »

Kudos to Chicago’s High School Top Chefs!

Richards Career Academy winning team

Richards Career Academy winning team

On January 24, 2011, a wintry day in Chicago, 20,000 high school students in the Chicago Public Schools were treated to a prize-winning, delicious and healthy school lunch created by their fellow students.  Topping the menu was Afro-Caribe Plancha (Cuban turkey, black beans, provolone cheese and marinated cucumbers baked in a whole grain pizza crust), along with Soup of Sunshine (yellow squash, bell pepper, tomatoes, apples, bananas and peanut butter with cilantro and spices), and Caribbean Crunch Salad (julienned oranges, cucumber apple, cilantro, orange juice and black pepper). Read more »

Cooking Up Change Heats Up a Chilly November Night in Chicago

Chicago high school student chefs-in-training compete to create the healthiest, tastiest school meals at the fourth annual Cooking Up Change event held on November 4th.

Chicago high school student chefs-in-training compete to create the healthiest, tastiest school meals at the fourth annual Cooking Up Change event held on November 4th.

Last week I attended a rollicking event on Chicago’s West Side.  Healthy Schools Campaign’s Cooking Up Change event—a benefit and competition between students to create healthy and tasty school meals—was attended by over 600 enthusiastic high schoolers, community leaders, local government leaders and Chicagoans with an interest in improving school meals. Read more »