Congratulations to the Cooking up Change National Healthy Cooking Contest Winners!

May 24, 2011

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Jacksonville student chefs prepare tastes of their healthy school lunch for the judges.

Congratulations to Alexus Baldwin, Leoniqua Jackson and Denver Singletary, the high school student chefs from Jacksonville, Florida who won the grand prize in the Cooking up Change National healthy cooking contest yesterday!

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Winning student team with Cooking up Change national honorary co-chairs Christie Vilsack and Karen Duncan.

The contest challenges teams of high school students studying culinary arts to create a healthy, great-tasting school meal with only six steps of preparation, ingredients commonly available to school food service and many of the other constraints that school nutrition professionals face.

The Jacksonville team – Alexus Baldwin, Leoniqua Jackson, and Denver Singletary – served Caribbean-inspired beef rib salad with Moroccan rice and sweet potato corn bread muffin.

Congratulations as well to the honorable mention winners!

The Chicago team – Gerardo Garcia, Ruby Gutierrez, and Claudia Ramirez – received an honorable mention for excellent side dish with their soup of sunshine, a unique blend of fruits and vege'tables.

The Winston-Salem team – Isaac Barham, Hayden Cramer, and Corrine Hertz – received an honorable mention for excellence in display. The team was recognized for preparing a meal that is as visually appealing as it is healthy.

The national finals brought together six teams of young chefs from across the nation. Five cities — Chicago, Denver, Jacksonville, St. Louis and Winston-Salem — hosted Cooking up Change qualifying contests. Teams from those cities won first place in their local competition. A team from Washington, DC won an online qualifying contest that was open to students nationwide.

The contest took place at USDA headquarters in Washington, DC.

“We are so proud of the students who competed in Cooking up Change for their efforts to change the future of school food,” said Rochelle Davis, President and CEO of Healthy Schools Campaign.

Congratulations to all the student chefs and many thanks to everyone who made Cooking up Change possible!

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Student chefs arrive at the USDA headquarters.

The Cooking up Change National Healthy Cooking Contest is generously sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Chartwells School Dining Services; Gold Sponsors Applegate Farms and Dannon; and Official Travel Partner Southwest Airlines. The contest is generously supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and hosted by the USDA.

Plus: Invite your legislators to lunch!  Today, the student chefs will take part in a Capitol Hill briefing on the future of school food. A school lunch designed by students will also be served in the House of Representatives cafeteria! Click here to send a letter inviting your legislators to attend the briefing on Capitol Hill, try the student-designed meal in their own cafeteria and support action that would help bring proper kitchen equipment and training to more schools!