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.
At Conrad High School in Dallas, students run a cafe where fellow senior students can buy a full meal for $5. A chicken wrap created by the student chefs has proved to be a popular choice.
So when Jorge, Trishna and Karla started thinking about a recipe for Cooking up Change, they knew a version of their chicken wrap would be a hit. The recipe had to be altered slightly to fit the requirements of the Cooking up Change competition. “To make it healthier and delicious, we used a 50 percent whole wheat tortilla, and we baked our chicken instead of frying it,” says student chef Jorge.
For the side dish, student chef Trishna create a simple but delicious dish of corn with seasoning. “It has a very, very good smell,” she says. “You want to jump into this corn!” The fruit dish features bananas cut on the bias with vanilla yogurt.
All of the students at Conrad will be able to sample the meal this spring, and students throughout the district will get a chance to try the meal during the next school year.
Trishna and Jorge both come from rich food cultures that inspired them from early ages. Trishna was born in India and her family moved to Nepal before settling in the U.S. She started cooking when she was 6 years old, and as the oldest daughter often cooked for her younger siblings—so she knows how to satisfy picky palates. Jorge’s family is from Mexico, and he remembers his mother cooking in the house and his father working in restaurants. “I got that experience of what it’s really like to cook, and I fell in love with it.” Both of them hope to further their culinary careers and one day open their own restaurants.
The team will be focusing on their presentation leading up to the Cooking up Change national finals in Washington, D.C., this june. The trip to D.C. will be the first for Jorge and Karla.
Congratulations to the winning Dallas team—and all the Dallas student chefs—for proving that school meals can be healthy and delicious!
The Dallas contest took place on March 25, and this was Dallas Independent School District’s second time competing. Here are all the teams that competed:
Bryan Adams High School Team #1
Student Chefs: Gladis, Crystal and Valerie
Menu: Chicken Sandwich Delight, Baked Fries and Pears with Cinnamon Oat
Bryan Adams High School Team #2
Student Chefs: Cabreil, Fabiola and Perla
Menu: Penne Pasta with Marinara Sauce, Steamed Broccoli and a Side of Banana
Conrad High School
Student Chefs: Jorge, Trishna and Karla
Menu: Crispy Chicken Tender Wrap, Sassy Italian Corn and Banana Delight
Lincoln High School
Student Chefs: Elisabeth and Radriyian
Menu: Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Zucchini Fries and Cinnamon Bananas
Moises E. Molina High School Team #1
Student Chefs: Cynthia, Samuel and Eryn
Menu: Southwest Black Bean Bake, Curried Cole Slaw and Apples with Peanut Butter
Moises E. Molina High School Team #2
Student Chefs: Mya, Ana and Victoria
Menu: Curry in a Hurry, Fresh Stop Cucumbers and Ginger Pears
Moises E. Molina High School Team #3
Student Chefs: Nereida, Jennifer and Alexis
Menu: Spicy Chicken and Rice, Italian Cucumber and Tomato Salad and PB and Banana
Roosevelt High School Team #1
Student Chefs: Kera, Berenice and Cierra
Menu: Curry Tuna Delight, Sona Beans and Ginger Applesauce
Roosevelt High School Team #2
Student Chefs: Alexus, Jasmine and Jose
Menu: Crispy Tex-mex Chicken Quesadilla, Spicy Beans and Hot Hot Bananas
Skyline High School Team #1
Student Chefs: Silvia and Ronisha
Menu: Spicy Chicken Tender Sandwich, Garlic Fries and Cinnamon Bananas
Skyline High School Team #2
Student Chefs: Nicholas, Marlene and Kailee
Menu: Surprise Rice, Tomato and Bell Pepper Salad and Peaches with Oat Topping
Townview High School
Student Chefs: Guillermo, Marlene and Kaulyn
Menu: Nutra-wrap, Broccoli Salad and an Orange