Student-Designed School Lunch Served throughout Chicago Public High Schools

  • January 30, 2008

by Jean Saunders, HSC School Wellness Director

For culinary students at Chicago Vocational Career Academy (CVCA), the long-awaited day has finally arrived!

Today, the students’ menu of red beans and rice with smothered cabbage and candied carrots will be served at all high schools in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system. High school students around the city will enjoy a healthy meal that CVCA students created to meet high standards for nutrition, taste and presentation.

The CVCA students won this honor by winning first place in the Cooking up Change Healthy Cooking Contest at HSC’s annual benefit in October. We couldn’t be more proud of the students, and are delighted to share the thoughts of three members of the winning team:

My experience in the Healthy Schools Campaign competition was a very great learning experience. I was able to obtain more confidence in myself as well as in my future. This campaign put me in a “quick thinking on my feet” situation; when I look back on it, I can applaud myself and my teammates who all played a major role in our success as a group. I really can say that throughout the whole competition I felt an exciting feeling as if I knew the outcome would be worth it.  ~ Ariel Griffin

Being a part of the winning team, which is Chicago Vocational, of the Healthy Schools Campaign is one of the greatest feelings a person in the food industry could gain. The day of the competition was nerve-wracking because of the way it started and the challenges along the way: at first our bus was an hour late which made us late for the competition, and when we were on our way to the competition, our food was spilling. But when they announced our school as the winners my teacher Mr. Fuller jumped into my arms because he knew how hard we worked to get those trophies. But to know that our food is going to be in every CPS school is one of the greatest accomplishments that our school could ever gain.  ~ Kevin Williams

I am really appreciative of the opportunity to compete in the healthy cooking competition. I’m elated that we won first place, for the appetizer and entrée portion of the contest. The whole competition was a great experience, including the work that was done prior to the competition. This is definitely an experience that I will never forget. I hope that the entrée is a great success on the Chartwells menu. Thanks to the judges for making the right decision, we (Chicago Vocational Career Academy – Culinary department) will make sure you are happy you chose us as the winners.  ~ Alexia R. McLaurin

Many congratulations to the culinary students at CVCA!