A Student Pick Wins Cooking up Change Detroit

June 09, 2017

Cooking up Change competitions are happening all across the country, with winners heading to Washington, D.C., for the national finals on June 12. Healthy Schools Campaign’s Cooking up Change contest challenges high school culinary students to create healthy, great-tasting meals that meet the real-life requirements of the national school meal program. Cooking up Change serves up life-changing opportunities, helps students realize their own potential and puts student voices front and center in the national dialogue about school food.

When Gerald, Kyle and Andre started brainstorming what to make for their Cooking up Change entree, they knew they wanted to make something students hadn’t seen before. “We wanted to give the students something nutritious,” says Gerald. “We were thinking of something outside of the box.”

But they also knew that the best judges of a great school meal would be the students themselves. So they created four main dishes and ran taste tests with students. The Zesty Chicken Rice Bowl came out the favorite.

And it proved to be a winner at the Cooking up Change Detroit contest in April. Gerald, Kyle and Andre impressed the judges with their meal of Zesty Chicken Rice Bowl, Tomato Lime Cucumber Wheels and Yogurt Splash.

But the student chefs from Detroit know that Cooking up Change is about much more than just creating one healthy meal. Detroit Public Schools Community District is currently working on eliminating the “seven ingredients of concern” from its school food program through a partnership with the Life Time Fitness Foundation and the “Clean Label” initiative. Kyle supports that initiative and would love to see more organic food served in the cafeterias.

Gerald, Kyle and Andre are working on fine-tuning their presentation for the Cooking up Change national finals next week.

Congratulations to the winning Detroit team—and all the Detroit student chefs—for proving that school meals can be healthy and delicious!

The Detroit contest took place on April 4, and this was Detroit’s third time competing. Here are all the teams that competed:

Breithaupt High School Team #1
Student Chefs: Maleah, Arielle and Desiree
Menu: Spicy Sun Pasta, Spring Latkas and Peach Revelation

Breithaupt High School Team #2
Student Chefs: Walter, Elijah and Raquel
Menu: Besoin De Sel, Vinaigrette Epicee and Besoin De Sucre

Frederick Douglass High School
Student Chefs: Gerald, Kyle and Andre
Menu: Zesty Chicken Rice Bowl, Tomato Lime Cucumber Wheels and Yogurt Splash

Golightly High School Team #1
Student Chefs: Faith, DeErnest and Angela
Menu: Italian Meatball Sub, Tuscan Style Bean Soup and Peach Crumble

Golightly High School Team #2
Student Chefs: Antwan, Katelynn and Dante
Menu: Bahn-Mi Vietnamese Sandwich, Asian Peanut Soup and Pineapple Sunrise Surprise