Inspiration, Teamwork and Award-Winning Cornbread: Getting to Know the Student Chefs of Tilden High

November 30, 2009 | Written By:


Even before the student chefs of Tilden High School captured the first place trophy in HSC’s Cooking up Change healthy cooking contest, we heard one question travel from guest to guest throughout the evening: “Have you tried the cornbread?”

The team’s award-winning and extremely popular jalapeno cornbread, along with their chicken-vegetable jambalaya and cucumber salad, took top honors in the contest. The meal will be served throughout Chicago’s high schools on Jan. 27 and on Capitol Hill later in the year! Team members will travel to DC to meet with assistant White House chef Sam Kass and speak up about the need for healthy, tasty school food. 

What inspired this conversation-starting meal? We talked to some of the student chefs to get the scoop:

What did you learn from the healthy cooking contest?
“How to interact with very large crowds.”
–Aljibri Reed

What helped your team work well together?
“We believed that we were going to do it. We were dedicated and we are a family. Motivation.”
–Aljibri Reed

What gave your team the inspiration to win?
“The fact that our school has been getting so much bad press.  We wanted to do something to show everyone how great our school really is.”
—LaShonda Livingston

What is your favorite type of food to cook?
–Elyssa Ford

How did you come up with the idea for your winning recipe?
“We all came up with ideas to use for the final show.  But our mentor, Chef Hitchcock, helped us pick a final idea.”
—Cari Smith

What did you learn from the healthy cooking contest?
“I learned how to use my networking skills and team work and communication.”
–Cari Smith

What gave your team the inspiration to win?
“Faith and I wanted to go to DC.”
—Jakaia Franklin

What do you like best about being a chef?
“Creating new things. And I love to cook and eat.”
—Jakaia Franklin

What did you learn from the healthy cooking contest?
“You can have healthy food and it can be good food too.”
—Henry Walton

Congratulations to the Tilden team and all the student chefs!

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