Cooking up Change 

Richards' students take first in annual contest

December 07, 2010

Top student chefs competed against each other last month to see who could cook the healthiest school lunch on a $1 budget. The competition was part of the Healthy Schools Campaign’s Opens in a new window icon.  4th annual Cooking up Change contest.


Culinary students from fourteen Chicago Public Schools spiced, sautéed and served mouth-watering, yet healthy school lunches at Salvage One, 1840 W. Hubbard Street. The winning meal will be served throughout CPS. The contest winners will also travel to Washington, D.C. to present their meal at the United States Department of Agriculture.


Along with the budgetary constraints, the chefs were limited to using ingredients available to CPS food services and had to meet CPS nutrition standards. The judges for the event included chefs and other food service professionals, fellow students and educators, including Christine Vilsack, wife of current U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.


And the winners are…


First Place: Healthy School Lunch

Richards Career Academy


Afro-Caribe Plancha
Soup of Sunshine
Caribbean Citrus Crunch Relish


Students: Gerardo Garcia, Ruby Gutierrez, Claudia Ramirez, Lidia Sanchez

Instructors: Mark Soltis and Katy Walsh


Team Mentor: Paul Molina, Illinois Institute of Art


Second Place: Healthy School Lunch

Clemente Community Academy


Baked Cajun Veggie Mac’N’Cheese with Chicken
WOW! Chopped Salad
Vanilla Yogurt Banana Split


Students: Elizabeth Aguilera, Fernando Alday, Marquita Banks, Miguel Garcia, Arianna Ray, Lilliana Roman

Instructors: Anthony Ladson and Ernestine Maxie


Team Mentor: Joel Cooper, Wolfgang Puck Catering


Third Place: Healthy School Lunch

Julian High School


Latin Chicken Stew
Dos Bean Rice Pilaf


Students: Devante’ Floyd, Jalen Jenkins, Lillian Kelly, Cheyenne Toney, Darnell Webb

Instructors: Laniecia Anderson


Team Mentor: Brad Newman, Quest Food Management Services


Audience Choice: Healthy Cookie

Simeon Career Academy


Thyme-scented lemon cookie


Students: Devon Bussell, Jasmine Cook, Justin Love, Aireal Mays, Olivia Smith, Raven Warford

Instructors: Loretta Johnson


Team Mentor: Guy Dansereau, Greater Chicago Food Depository


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. Congratulations to our winning chefs and their instructors at Richards and all CPS students who participated in the event.


Learn more about Richards Career Academy


ApplyPDF icon. to attend a high school with a Culinary Academy


Learn more about the Healthy Schools Campaign Opens in a new window icon.


Learn more about the USDA Opens in a new window icon.