Cooking up Change

Cooking up Change is a dynamic competition that challenges Chicago high school culinary students to create healthy school meals that taste great and appeal to their fellow students.

Elevating Student Voices

Cooking up Change is about the electricity of competition and tasting the next generation of school meals. It’s about celebrating the promise of healthy schools. It’s also about launching a conversation.

“This competition gives us a voice. I want to keep promoting healthy lunches at school.”
Menajah, student chef

Cooking up Change puts student voices front and center in our city’s conversation about school food, challenging them to create healthy school lunches that their peers will enjoy. These student chefs show us that it is possible to create meals with plentiful fruits, vegetables and whole grains that can be served as part of school meal programs across the country—and that students will want to eat.


Far-Reaching Impact

The impact of Cooking up Change extends far beyond the contest and one exciting evening. Students develop skills that last a lifetime while making a real impact on school food in Chicago and across the nation. Read more about the impact of Cooking up Change and about one student chef who returned as a judge.


Launching the National Competition

The Cooking up Change Chicago contest launches the Cooking up Change National season, with local contests throughout the school year in cities across the country. The winning team from each city will travel to Washington, D.C., in the spring to compete in the Cooking up Change national finals and to present their meals to Congress.


Sponsor Cooking up Change

Learn more about the opportunities Cooking up Change creates for student leaders, its national reach and highlights from the past 11 seasons! Find out more about how you can get involved in Cooking up Change as a sponsor.

Stay Connected!

 

Hidden Section
Note - this is set to the general newsletter - Healthy Schools Campaing Newsletter

Need assistance with this form?

Contact

Sara Porter
Vice President of External Affairs

Learn more about our Cooking up Change National program.

Rewriting the Recipe for School Food

Cooking up Change challenges students to create healthy, great-tasting meals that could be served as part of the district’s school meal program. This means using ingredients and equipment commonly available for school food service. The student chefs who take part in Cooking up Change are enrolled in the Chicago Public Schools Career and Technical Education Culinary program.

Student teams use the knowledge they’ve gained through their culinary arts studies and guidance from mentors to develop menus and recipes and refine them based on peer taste tests and professional nutrition analysis.

On the day of the competition, students present their meals to a panel of judges—professional chefs, food service professionals, education leaders and public officials, among others—who rate each meal according to its originality, taste, appearance and the quality of the team’s presentation.


2017 Winners

Student chefs from Prosser celebrating with trophies after winning Cooking up Change 2017
Prosser Career Academy
Arroz con Pollo Tazon, Zanahorias Rostizadas Relish and Pear Crisp
Student Chefs: Itzel, Jasalyn, Jerimah, Jose, Naomi and Yesenia
Read the spotlight on Prosser!


National Finals

The winning team from Cooking up Change travels to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Cooking up Change national finals and present their lunch to Congress! Read more about the Cooking up Change National Finals.


Past Champions

Richards-2016

2016 Champions
Richards Career Academy
Read the spotlight on Richards!

washington-3

2015 Champions
Washington High School
Read the spotlight on Washington!

marshall2014

2014 Champions
Marshall Metropolitan High School
Read the spotlight on Marshall!

CVCA 2013

2013 Champions
Chicago Vocational Career Academy
Read the spotlight on CVCA!

washington2012-2

2012 Champions
Washington High School
Read the spotlight on Washington!

cvca2011

2011 Champions
Chicago Vocational Career Academy
Read the spotlight on CVCA!

2010-cuc

2010 Champions
Richards Career Academy
Read the spotlight on Richards!

2009

2009 Champions
Tilden Career Community Academy
Read the spotlight on Tilden!

2008

2008 Champions
Richards Career Academy
Read the spotlight on Richards!

2007

2007 Champions
Chicago Vocational Career Academy
Read the spotlight on CVCA!


Judging

Members of the Cooking up Change judging panel–including food service professionals, professional chefs, education leaders and local officials, among others–take on the challenge of selecting winners among the many excellent student creations. Judges taste and evaluate meals based on a set of criteria that is shared with the student teams at the beginning of the contest.

Originality
Rate the originality and creativity of the school meal.

Taste
Are the items seasoned correctly? Is there a balance between the main dish and the two side dishes? Is there a variety of textures? Does it taste good? Would you order it?

Appearance
Does it look appetizing? Is there a variety of natural colors? Is the tray neatly plated?

Presentation
Did the team give an articulate, well-planned presentation?

Stay Connected!

 

Hidden Section
Note - this is set to the general newsletter - Healthy Schools Campaing Newsletter

Need assistance with this form?

Contact

Sara Porter
Vice President of External Affairs

Learn more about our Cooking up Change National program.

By the Numbers

Cooking up Change began as a small program in a few schools. Today, its impact reaches across our city and beyond.

impact-2-01

impact-2-02

impact-2-03

impact-2-04


Serving the Winning Meal to Peers and Elected Leaders

capitol-hill

Each year in Chicago, the winning Cooking up Change meal is served in schools across CPS to more than 380,000 students, as well as to local and state policymakers. Students then travel to present their meal to leaders across the city and state. For example, students have presented winning meals to:


Transforming the Chicago Public Schools Menu

On the day their meal is first served in schools city-wide, students celebrate at a special Cooking up Change event at their school. Winning meals have proven hugely popular among students and are now regularly featured on the CPS lunch menu. This is a testament to the students’ skill in creating recipes under real-life constraints, and their ability to design healthy lunches that are popular with their peers.

CPS serves a Cooking up Change meal once a month to students across the district. These meals have proved popular with students.


Developing Career Skills Beyond the Classroom

beyond-contest

Cooking up Change helps students build their professional skills and networks, challenges them to think creatively and to work together under pressure, and helps them develop leadership skills and experience that translates to success beyond the classroom and outside the kitchen.


Elevating Student Voices in the Media

The excitement of the Cooking up Change contest has attracted media attention that shares students’ voices and perspectives with a wide audience.

Recent highlights include:

November 19, 2017 | CBS Chicago
Cooking Up Change

November 18, 2017 | Chicago Sun-Times
Prosser Career Academy students win Cooking Up Change chef competition

November 4, 2017 | ABC7 Chicago
Cooking Up Change for CPS

Stay Connected!

 

Hidden Section
Note - this is set to the general newsletter - Healthy Schools Campaing Newsletter

Need assistance with this form?

Contact

Sara Porter
Vice President of External Affairs

Learn more about our Cooking up Change National program.

Chicago Sponsors

Presenting


Heroes


Champion


Culinary Scholarship Sponsor


Official Beverage Partner


Official Education Partner
Chicago Public Schools CTE Culinary Arts Program


Leaders
Clune Construction Company
Direct in Supply
Pacific Floorcare

Partners
American Hospital Association
Assurance Agency
BMO Harris Bank
Catered by Design
Cristina Foods, Inc.
Crystal Windows & Doors
HandCut Foods
Heartfelt Catering
Lifetime Brands, Inc.
Norman Distribution
Perkins + Will
Pioneer Equipment
Ventas
Wild Garden & Ziyad Brand
Wishbone Restaurant

Advocates
Alper Services LLC
Bespoke Commercial Real Estate
Clif Bar
FarmLogix
Jessica and Dean Gerdes
Hilda’s Kitchen, Inc.
Illinois Association of School Nurses
Milt’s BBQ for the Perplexed
SQN Associates
Rick and Donna Yule


National Sponsors

Gold Supporter


Official Culinary Partner


Official Travel Partner


Silver Sponsor
American Federation of Teachers


Get Involved!

Find out more about sponsoring Cooking up Change.

Stay Connected!

 

Hidden Section
Note - this is set to the general newsletter - Healthy Schools Campaing Newsletter

Need assistance with this form?

Contact

Sara Porter
Vice President of External Affairs

Learn more about our Cooking up Change National program.

Cooking up Change Chicago Resources

Access related recipes below, or go to our main Resource Center to access recipes across all of our program and policy areas.

pdf

Chicago Public Schools’ Pathways to Excellence in School Nutrition

This plan documents and make publicly accessible the district's high school meal nutrition standards and health promoting initiatives and outline an action plan to provide healthy school food to all CPS students. This strategic plan was created in collaboration with the CPS School Food Advisory group co-convened by Healthy Schools Campaign. Download

Related Programs: , ,

pdf

Haitian Spice Chicken

Cooking up Change National 2015 recipe from Chicago's Marshall High School

Related Programs: ,

pdf

Elotes Washington

Cooking up Change National 2013 recipe from Chicago, Illinois

Related Programs: ,

pdf

New Orleans Chicken and Polenta Napoleon

Cooking up Change Chicago 2012 recipe

Related Programs:

pdf

Cousins Collard Greens and Cabbage

Cooking up Change Chicago 2012 recipe

Related Programs:

pdf

Baked Sweet Potato Chips

Cooking up Change Chicago 2012 recipe

Related Programs:

pdf

Soup of Sunshine

Cooking up Change Chicago 2011 recipe from Richards Career Academy

Related Programs:

pdf

Dos Bean Rice Pilaf

Cooking up Change Chicago 2011 recipe from Julian High School

Related Programs:

pdf

Baked Cajun Mac n Cheese

Cooking up Change Chicago 2011 recipe from Clemente Community Academy

Related Programs:

pdf

Curry Chicken

Cooking up Change Chicago 2011 recipe from Clemente Community High School

Related Programs: ,