Cooking up Change: What’s New This Year?
October 28, 2009 | Written By: Healthy Schools Campaign
Cooking up Change, HSC's annual benefit and healthy cooking contest, is tomorrow!
years ago, HSC began to include a spotlight on local high school
students studying culinary arts at our annual benefit; now, that
spotlight has evolved to become an exciting culinary competition in
which teams of very talented young chefs from 15 public high schools
across the city compete to create healthy, tasty school meals that meet
nutrition standards on a tight budget. Their winning meals are served
across the city and beyond, highlighting the power of student
engagement in healthy change and the need for reform in our school food
Cooking up Change is also a celebration, a time to
connect with others
who care about food, our environment and children's health.
Every year, it seems that Cooking up Change becomes even more exciting. So what's new this year?
- Frozen local produce! This year for the first time,
student teams will incorporate local produce in the school meals they
create. This may surprise some who know that the students are limited
to ordering their food from the same ingredient lists available to
their school cafeteria managers. But it's true: the student chefs, like
the food service managers in their schools, now have access to locally-grown produce to include in their school meals. The fruits and
vegetables, all grown within 150 miles of Chicago, are flash-frozen
within 48 hours of their harvest, locking in vital nutrients and —
perhaps just as important to a chef — the unique great flavor of
freshly-picked, locally-grown food. The produce is part of Cooking up
Change Gold sponsor Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality's frozen local
program. Through this program, Chartwells-Thompson provides local
produce for lunch in all Chicago Public Schools several days a week.
Now the teams of student chefs at Cooking up Change will have access to
this tasty, bright produce for their entries in the culinary
Cookie-preneur award! Successful bakers know that it
takes more than flavor to make a cookie successful. A cookie that
stands apart from the crowd in a bakery or store shelf has to look
appealing, stand up to transportation without crumbling, have a reasonable shelf life — it even
needs a descriptive, enticing name. Kenny Muncic, owner of
Cookie-preneur sponsor Little Miss Muffin Bakery, will consider these
characteristics and more as he selects this year's Cookie-preneur
winners from among all the student teams' healthy cookies. Little Miss
Muffin will be prepared to manufacture the winning cookie and pitch it to wholesale customers to be sold in stores across Chicago.
Elevated national profile! This year, all eyes are on
Cooking up Change! The students from last year's winning team traveled
to Washington, DC to prepare their meal with Sam Kass, chef to the
Obama family, at a briefing on the future of school food. On the same
day, their meal was served to more than 40,000 students nationwide and
in the House of Representatives cafeteria. The young chefs and their
fabulous meal garnered the attention of The Washington Post, CNN News, CNN.com, Mindful Metropolis and
the popular blog Obama Foodorama. This year, the Cooking up Change
judging panel includes influential leaders such as David Lazarus,
senior advisor to the Secretary of the USDA. The meals that the
students create will be part of a national dialogue on the future of
school food, particularly as part of HSC’s advocacy for a strong
reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, the federal legislation
that provides funding and guidelines for school meals.
thrilled about these exciting additions to the healthy cooking contest
and can't wait to try the student's creations on Thursday!
learn more online at www.cookingupchange.org.