Cooking up Change in California!

March 20, 2012 | Written By:


Alejandro (Alex) Hernandez with team captain Ashley Blanco, and Ivan Lope

We recently shared how excited we were to help bring our Cooking up Change healthy cooking contest to the West Coast, thanks to the work of local host Kid Healthy. We are happy to announce student chefs Ashley Blanco, Alejandro (Alex) Hernandez, and Ivan Lope took first place in the local contest and will represent Santa Ana at the national finals in May 2012.

The Valley High School students quickly adjusted to the spotlight! They got tips from Chef Katy Clark, of the reality television show “Food Network Star.”


Cooking up Change Santa Ana student chefs with “Food Network Star” Chef Katy Clark

“It’s a blessing to know that my vocation for cooking will make a change in my community soon,” said Alex. “It’s an honor to be recognized this way. I am truly grateful for the opportunity I received — the excitement I am feeling is unexplainable. It is a dream coming true.”

The trio will prepare lemon and spinach chicken, Tuscan bean salad, and cinnamon poached pears when they compete in the national finals alongside teams from Chicago, St. Louis, and Denver.


Cooking up Change Santa Ana’s student-created meal


Congratulations Ashley, Alex, and Ivan! 

We have two more exciting local contests coming up!. Stay posted for more Cooking up Change updates on our blog. For more information about the healthy cooking contest, visit

Plus: Read more about the Santa Ana team here

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