Students Flex “Culinary” Muscle at Junior Chef Competition

Team Lavender wins the K-12 by Elior Junior Chef Competition with their BLT Burger and traditional potato salad!  Held for students attending the Benson Unified School District in Benson, Arizona, multiple student teams used their skill, speed, and ingenuity to create unique recipes during this K-12 by Elior-sponsored culinary event held on March 23rd.

Based on the Food Network’s popular “Iron Chef”, students from 3rd through 8th grades were grouped by grade level during this friendly competition that promoted community involvement, culture, and most importantly, inspired our students to learn and embrace the culinary arts.

K-12 by Elior provided pantry items such as eggs, butter, and proteins.  Students were also encouraged to purchase up to ten food items, not to exceed $15, from local food sponsors and a mini farmer’s market.  “The goal is to teach students how to become skilled shoppers when shopping on a budget for fresh and healthy food,” says K-12 by Elior Senior Director of Marketing Trent Krupica.

Each team had one hour to complete their meal and provide two plates for the judges: a show plate and a plate with five sample portions.   “We want students to have fun with food by presenting opportunities to engage with the culinary arts, create team building opportunities, and maybe even be inspired to think about culinary as a future career,” adds Krupica.

While teams were presented awards based on the ‘best’ presentation, recipe and taste, and team spirit, the overall Judges Choice Award was presented to Team Lavender (Lina Alvarez, Cassidy Burlison, Kristina Sandoval Barnett, Genevive Tovar) which factored in all of the winning categories with adherence to the theme, enthusiasm, recipe and taste!  The Judges Choice Award winners received $250 each!