Future Chefs recognized for culinary skills

Future Chefs recognized for culinary skills
Posted on 04/25/2015

Eating healthy is a lifelong habit that can start at any age. However, the Bucyrus City School District Food Services department is working to help students learn how to not just eat healthy, but also how to cook healthy foods. Helping teach students how to cook healthy is the focus of the Sodexo Future Chef program.

Now in its sixth year, the Future Chef program focused on Bucyrus Elementary students preparing healthy snacks this year. Five BES students were recognized as Future Chef finalists during the regular Board of Education meeting April 23. Karys Boyd, Melody Burke, Madalyn Kimmel, Christian Linn, and Natalie Stover were each awarded a board commendation for their achievements.

Kimmel, the 2014 local winner and regional Future Chef qualifier, was named the winner of the 2015 Future Chef competition. The winning recipe, Maddie's Marvelous Fruity Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips, required Madalyn to expand her limits and try new ingredients and taste test some new fruits.

"My recipe was a fruit salsa and I had to make sure I liked all the ingredients," Kimmel said. "I tried a mango when I was little, and that was the only one I had to try again to make sure I liked it."

Ingredients for the winning fruit salsa recipe includes: 2 peaches (peeled and diced), 4 kiwis (peeled and diced), 1 mango (peeled and diced), 1 pint strawberries (diced), 1 cup blueberries, 2 honey crisp apples (peeled, cored and diced), 1 tsp lemon juice and 1⁄4 cup strawberry jam. The Cinnamon Tortilla Chips recipe includes: 6 whole- wheat tortillas (small), 1-teaspoon butter, 3⁄4 cup sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon.

"The best part of whole experience was cooking," Kimmel said. "It's something I can walk in to the kitchen and have fun doing."

The preparation for the fruit salsa includes: In a large bowl, thoroughly mix peaches, kiwis, mango, strawberries, blueberries, apples, lemon juice and strawberry jam. Cover and chill in refrigerator. To prepare the Cinnamon Tortilla Chips: Preheat oven to 375 degrees; Cover baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside; In a small bowl, melt butter in microwave for 30 seconds and set aside; Take one tortilla and brush it with melted butter on both sides; Take the second tortilla and stack on top of the first tortilla and brush with melted butter; Repeat for all tortillas; Cut tortillas into six equal triangles; Take each triangle and dip into cinnamon mixture and place on baking sheet; Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.

"All of the students did a fantastic job preparing their recipes and presenting them to our judges," Food Services General Manager Lorie Pennington said. "Each year, students and their families get more creative with their recipes, and it becomes increasingly difficult for our judges to select the finalists and the overall winner. Congratulations to all the students on a job well done!"

To learn more about the Future Chef competition, contact Lorie Pennington at 419-562-5355.