Yesterday Beaumont Career and Technical Education High School (801 North Eleventh Street; 314-231-3720) in downtown St. Louis hosted Cooking up Change, a national health-focused student cooking competition presented by Chicago-based nonprofit Healthy Schools Campaign. In order to participate in the contest, student chefs create a menu including one main dish and two side dishes only using ingredients from their school's cafeteria, and the meal must exceed the USDA's current standard for nutrition for their federal school lunch program.
High-school culinary students from Beaumont competed against student chefs from Clyde C. Miller Career Academy (1000 North Grand Boulevard; 314-371-0394), with the winning team moving on to the national competition in Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 10, at the U.S. Department of Education. Four teams of students from Clive C. Miller competed against one another and against two teams from Beaumont.
Welp, the local results are in.
Lindsay Eanet, communications and public relations manager for Healthy Schools Campaign, says the competition was fierce and the decision a tough one for the judging panel to call, but in the end, student chefs from Beaumont Career & Technical Academy cinched it.
Beaumont students Aretha Brown, Clarece Mathews and William Viney won for their healthful, flavorful and kid-friendly menu of barbecue baked chicken, sauteed broccoli and carrots and poached pears.
When Gut Check spoke with Eanet earlier this week, she explained the judging criteria for Cooking up Change.
"The job of the judging panel is to tell us what their favorite is based on taste, originality, appearance of the food and the presentation of the food," Eanet says.
In June Beaumont's winning team will travel to D.C. to compete against students from across the country. They'll also be invited to a congressional briefing where their food will be served in the cafeteria that serves the U.S. House of Representatives. Students are encouraged to share their experiences with Cooking up Change and Healthy Schools Campaign at the briefing, and why healthy food is important to them and their peers.
The winning team from Beaumont will also have their meal served to their entire school district, and each member of the team is awarded a full T-Fal cookware set.
Photos of the winning school lunch and of the team are after the jump.