Friday Recipes, Summer Edition: Angelique’s Tropical Pico de Gallo

May 22, 2009

By Cynthia San Miguel, HSC Intern

This post is part of our Friday-morning series on fun, healthy recipes. Check out other recipe posts here.

Angelique Chef Angelique Kerger is the culinary arts instructor at Curie Metropolitan High School, one of the 13 Chicago Public Schools fielding a fabulous team for the 2008 Cooking up Change Healthy Cooking Contest. We’re honored to introduce you to Chef Kerger and kick off the summer culinary season with her tasty, healthy recipe for tropical pico de gallo. In the months ahead, we’ll introduce you to more of the talented, dedicated culinary instructors who are educating the chefs of tomorrow and sharing their gift for fresh, healthy cooking.

Why did you participate in Cooking up Change?
Because I thought it would be a worthwhile challenge, and so students could cook a nutritious school meal.

How did you become involved in the culinary arts?
I was an elementary school teacher and decided to go to culinary school. I received my degree and was a chef in the city for eight years. Then I decided to go back to education and I heard CPS had this [culinary education] program.

What have you learned while participating in Cooking up Change?
That it’s hard to create a balanced, low fat, heart-healthy meal with the budget and nutrition standards for school food.

What do you like about teaching the culinary arts?
I like seeing their [the students’] minds open up out of the box. And learning diversity and culture through food. We are all not that different from each other.

What is your dream for your students?
That whatever endeavors they do, they strive for excellence.

What is your dream for school lunches?
Products are fresh, made from scratch, and cooked properly. I would like to see more whole foods, whole grains, and fresh fruit.

Who is your favorite chef?
Julia Child. When I was little there was no Food Network so I used to turn on Channel 11 and watch Julia Child all day.

Angelique's Tropical Pico De Gallo  

Yield 4-6 servings

1/2 Cup small diced seeded tomatoes
1/2 Cup small diced mango
1 tbls minced jalapenos
1/8 Cup small diced red onion
1/2 Cup small diced pineapple
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbls finely chopped cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all except salt. Salt before service. This can be served under a nice piece of grilled fish along with a whole grain such as steamed brown rice.