On June 9, students from across the country will compete in the Cooking up Change national finals in Washington, D.C.
Cooking up Change is a dynamic culinary competition that puts student voices front-and-center in the national dialogue about school food. The contest challenges high school culinary students to create a healthy and delicious school meal their peers will enjoy. The teams must also meet national school food nutrition standards and budget restrictions, and can only use ingredients and equipment commonly found in school kitchens. In addition to spotlighting remarkable student talent, Cooking up Change
brings attention to the challenges of serving fresh, healthy school meals and the need for additional resources for schools.
Healthy Schools Campaign launched Cooking up Change in Chicago in 2007 to engage student chefs and the broader community in addressing the critical changes needed in our nation’s school meal program. Learn more about Cooking up Change.
Ten cities across the country hosted Cooking up Change contests this season: Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Memphis, Orange County, Orlando, Wichita and Winston-Salem. Winners from each city will travel to Washington, D.C., for the national finals on June 9 to cook for a national judging panel and raise their voices for healthy school food at a legislative briefing.
Karen Duncan, Christopher G. Kennedy and Amy Rule are serving as the Cooking up Change National Honorary Co-Chairs. These national leaders bring a powerful voice to promoting healthy eating for all students.
“I am happy to be working with these students to help make their vision for school food a reality in their schools and in schools across the nation.”
Karen Duncan, Wife of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
“I admire their dedication and passion to make a difference in their own lives and their fellow students’ lives.”
Christopher G. Kennedy, Founder of Top Box Foods
“From the kitchen to the classroom, Cooking up Change empowers students to take an active role in their health and wellness.”
Amy Rule, First Lady of the City of Chicago
Our panel of esteemed judges includes chefs, educators, public health experts, policymakers, foundation representatives, advocates and school food experts. Student teams are judged on the originality, taste, appearance and presentation of their school lunch.
This year’s panel includes:
Chef, Restaurant Eve
High School Student, DC Public Schools
Senior Campaign Director, MomsRising
Executive Director, NEA Health Information Network
Staff Writer, Education Week
Dr. Jonathan Brice
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
Wife of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
Cooking up Change National Honorary Co-Chair
Project Director, Coordinated School Health, AASA, The School Superintendent’s Association
Founder and Managing Director, Arabella Advisors
Dr. Kent McGuire
President and CEO, Southern Education Foundation
Chef/owner of Good Stuff Eatery; We, The Pizza; and Béarnaise
Corporate Chef, Marriott
Executive Director, President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition
Communications Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Dr. Janey Thornton
Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture
President, The James Beard Foundation
Dr. Howell Wechsler
Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for a Healthier Generation