Local Elementary Students Compete in 'Future Chefs' Competition

This year's contest showcased students' salad recipes.


Taft Elementary School in Redwood City looked a bit like the set of a reality cooking show Thursday.

That's because it was the site of the Redwood City School District's third annual "Future Chefs Contest."

This year's Future Chefs Contest, organized by food service provider Sodexo, was titled “Healthy Salad Challenge.” Ten students from kindergarten through eighth grades, from various schools in the district, competed this year.

The students waited in anticipation before Sandy Yousef of John Gill Elementary School took home first prize for her “Rainbow Salad.” Daniela Palomo of Fair Oaks Elementary's “Fruit Salad” won second place and Eliza Bulanti of Roy Cloud Elementary's “Mae’s Famous Rice Salad” ran away with third place.

According to Sodexo, the concept of the competition is to help educate kids about healthy eating habits. This year’s contest was focused around the students’ favorite healthy salad recipes.

Sodexo School Services Manager Vanessa Corona chose the 10 finalists, out of 30 submissions, to compete in the challenge this year.

Anna Lague is the Director of Child Nutrition Services for the Redwood City School District and helped during the two months of preparation for the event.

“It’s a great opportunity for students who are creative and passionate,” Lague said. “I really like to see them make the food.”

At the contest, guests and family members helped support the students prepare their salads and nibble on samples. Judges from the school district voted based on the following categories: originality, health-conscious foods, simple, kid-friendly preparation, "Best Plate," "Best Demonstration," and "Fun Kid Foods."

Lague said they no longer rate on taste since the sweetest options would always win and they had more difficulty with subjectivity based on personal tastes.

Check out the Sodexo YouTube page for videos from last year’s finalists.

What do you think of the concept of the Future Chefs Contest? Tell us in the comments.

Also on RedwoodCity-Woodside Patch:

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