Cooking up Change Says ‘Thank You!’

November 06, 2013 | Written By:

Thanks to all who make Cooking up Change happen!

You can imagine the amount of work that goes into putting Cooking up Change together. Believe us when we say, we couldn’t do it alone. In fact, it pretty much takes a village to pull it off. We wanted to thank everyone who has taken the time to help us make Cooking up Change happen. We’re grateful for everything you’ve done! Here’s a quick summary of what our invaluable supporters are up to:

Host and benefit committees:

No matter how great a party we throw, it’s only a success if people are there to celebrate with us. Enter: the host and benefit committees, some of our most enthusiastic supporters who make gifts to support Cooking up Change and act as our ambassadors, spreading the word about our events and encouraging friends and colleagues to attend. They’re there from day one helping us plan an awesome event. Learn more.

The judges:

As you probably know by now, Cooking up Change isn’t just a cooking competition. We strive to create an environment where worlds collide, where everyone from policy-makers, restaurateurs and chefs to parents, teachers and school administrators all come together to understand and become further invested in issues pertaining to school food. By inviting all of these people to act as judges, we hope to both inspire and educate influencers in our community to prioritize improving food in the schools. Learn more.

Chef mentors:

Our contest chair chef Randy Zweiban and others have recruited chef mentors to help the students design, tweak and test recipes as they prepare for the contest and then polish their presentations for the big day. And it doesn’t end in the kitchen. Not only have these generous chefs been there for their teams the night of the event to offer moral support, some have developed longstanding relationships with the students, helping them connect with a professional network and even offering students internships at their restaurants.


All of our sponsors offer a generous financial contribution that makes our work possible. They all put in time and effort, too.

  • ARAMARK Education helped us develop the list of ingredients for the contest, provides the food with which the students cook, provided dietitians to do nutritional analysis of the students’ recipes and provided an event judge.
  • Preferred Meals has provided a judge for the event.
  • Reporter/anchor Marion Brooks of NBC 5 acts as Cooking up Change Chicago emcee.
  • The James Beard Foundation helped recruit judges for the national competition and promotes Cooking up Change on social media.
  • Southwest Airlines donated airplane tickets so all students, staff and chaperones can fly to Washington, D.C. for the national finals.
  • Washburne Institute also provides a judge and donates $24,000 worth of culinary scholarships to students.

We look forward to celebrating with you tomorrow! Learn more about Cooking up Change.

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