Elementary school students cook up meals inspired by books and movies - AZEdNews
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Elementary school students cook up meals inspired by books and movies


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  • Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District   |  

Gema Hernandez Cutting Plantains For Her Wazowski Nachos. (Photo Courtesy Of Shannon Enciso)

Students in Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District recently used their culinary skills to reimagine their favorite lunch meal by creating original recipes in the 2022 “Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge.” The national initiative, now in its eleventh year, was created to get students thinking about making healthy food choices while also encouraging them to be active and creative in the kitchen.

Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District students are joining over 2,500 other students representing more than 1,400 Sodexo-served school sites in 30 states nationally.

80 elementary school students submitted healthy recipes inspired by their favorite lunch meals.

Elementary school students cook up meals inspired by books and movies IMG_3531-1-1024x683
Chef Luis Nido reviews Sarah Miranda’s recipe and provides support to the young chef. (Photo courtesy of Shannon Enciso)

During the competition held at Calabasas School on March 30, 2022, the young finalists were assessed on criteria including originality, taste, kid friendliness, the use of healthy ingredients, presentation and taste. Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District joined 253 other school districts across the country holding Future Chefs events throughout February and March.

Five students participated in the competition:

  • 1st Place Sarah Miranda 5th grade Mountain View Crazy Cajun Pasta
  • 2nd Place Gema Hernandez 3rd grade Calabasas School Wazowski Nachos
  • 3rd Place Emily Rodriguez 4th grade San Cayetano Ratatouille
  • Runner Up Victoria Guerrero 3rd grade San Cayetano Vegetable Shrimp Sushi
  • Runner Up Janie West 3rd grade Mountain View French Ratatouille

Elementary school students cook up meals inspired by books and movies IMG_3586-1-1024x683
(L to R) Gema H., Victoria G., Janie W., Emily R., Sarah M., (BACK)
Chef Luis Nido, Sodexo. (Photo courtesy of Shannon Enciso)

The winning student from each participating district will be considered for 40 regional finalist awards, and the selected regional finalists will vie to become one of five national finalists competing for the public’s vote on SodexoUSA.com.

The Sodexo Future Chefs Challenge is just one of the many ways that the company shares its health and well-being expertise with the clients, customers and the communities it serves.