November 5, 2010
Chicago Public Schools Culinary Arts students from Ellen H. Richards Career Academy High School took first place Thursday in the Healthy Schools Campaign’s fourth annual Cooking up Change contest.
The Richards students’ winning entry consisted of Afro-Caribe plancha, Soup of Sunshine and Caribbean Cirtrus Crunch relish. The dishes were prepared by a team of four Richards students: Gerardo Garcia, Ruby Gutierrez, Claudia Ramirez and Lidia Sanchez.
Culinary Arts instructors for the team are Mark Soltis and Katy Walsh and team mentor was professional chef Paul Molina.
The contest required student teams from 14 CPS high schools to develop menus using tight budgetary allotments that still met nutritional standards, and to serve their prepared dishes to a panel of judges.
The judging panel was composed of chefs and other food service professionals, fellow students and educators, including Christine Vilsack, wife of current U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The Richards student-chefs will have their meal served throughout CPS and won a trip to Washington, D.C.
Second place in the contest was awarded to students from Roberto Clemente Community Academy High School; students from Percy L. Julian High School took third. Winner of the cookie contest, chosen by vote of those attending the Cooking up Change event at Salvage One, 1840 W. Hubbard, were students from Neal F. Simeon Community Academy High School.
Other CPS high schools whose students participated in the Cooking up Change contest included: Chicago Vocational, Corliss, Curie, Dunbar, Hyde Park, Julian, Manley, North-Grand, Prosser, Tilden (last year’s winner) and Washington.
Chicago Public Schools works with Healthy Schools Campaign on issues involving school nutrition and fitness and creating healthier school environments.
The Culinary Arts program is administered by the CPS Department of College and Career Preparation.
Chicago Public Schools serves 409,279 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.