Today, We’re Cooking up Change!

May 21, 2012 | Written By:


Ready, set, whisk!

Today, high school culinary students from Chicago, Denver, Jacksonville, Santa Ana, St. Louis and Winston-Salem are facing off in the Cooking up Change national finals.

These students have crafted healthy, great-tasting school meals that meet strong nutrition standards on a tight budget. They’ve won local qualifying competitions in their home towns and have been practicing the presentation they’ll deliver for the panel of judges at the national finals.


“These student chefs are sending a clear message about what they want on their trays – healthy school food to nourish their bodies and minds,” said Rochelle Davis, HSC President and CEO.

Student chef Maria H. put it this way: “We all need energy to concentrate at school, do well at school. Education is the number one thing, and you need a nutritious meal to be able to focus.”

All the teams are bringing impressive recipes that have won thumbs-up from their peers as well as from local judges.


One dish from each team’s meal will be served tomorrow at a briefing for Congress on the future of school food and for lunch in the Longworth cafeteria, which serves Congressional leaders and their staff. The students will speak at the briefing to share their experience in Cooking up Change and their perspective on the importance of healthy school food.

You can support the students’ efforts by sending a letter urging your senator and representatives and their staff to attend the briefing and try the students’ lunch! Send an invitation here.

Which team will take home the trophy? Check back for updates on the winning team! You can also follow the competition live with HSC on Twitter or by checking out #CookingupChange.

Good luck to all the student chefs!


Many thanks to the generous sponsors for Cooking up Change! The Cooking up Change National Healthy Cooking Contest is generously sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Chartwells School Dining Services; Silver Sponsors American Federation of Teachers, and T-Fal; Official Travel Partner Southwest Airlines; and Official Culinary Partner James Beard Foundation. The contest is hosted by the United States Department of Education. Special thanks to Hooray Purée, whose contribution supports the students’ stay in Washington, DC for the contest.

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