School System hosts Future Chefs Challenge

Contributed report

March 25, 2014

Sodexo, in partnership with the Troup County School System Food and Nutrition Department, recently held the first Elementary School Culinary Competition in Troup County.

It was an evening filled with excitement, music and great anticipation. A total of 10 fourth grade students wearing chefs’ attire created tasty, healthy sandwiches. Sodexo and school system staff volunteered and assisted students by helping them to create their favorite sandwiches for the panel of five judges.

The district-wide competition took place in the cafeteria at LaGrange High School. By the end of the evening, judges sampled a variety of sandwiches and chose a winner. The grand prize winner received the greatest number of points based on originality, healthy attributes, kid-friendly, taste and plate presentation.

Choosing a winner was not an easy task, and all students received certificates and special gift items. West Point Elementary student Zikei Brooks walked away as the grand prize winner. Brooks’ crunchy peanut butter and banana sandwich recipe will be entered into a national competition.

Participants of the Future Chefs Challenge, Elementary Division were:

• Berta Weathersbee – Eddy Velasquez. Sandwich: “The Tasty.”

• Callaway – Kennedy Shepherd. Sandwich: “Mighty Meatball.”

• Ethel Kight – Isaiah Coleman. Sandwich: “Taste Bomb.”

• Franklin Forest – Stephanie Rodas-Lopez. Sandwich: ham sandwich.

• Hogansville – Hayley Gaddy, third place winner. Sandwich: sushi.

• Hillcrest – Avery Neal, most original. Sandwich: squash casserole.

• Hollis Hand – Thaddeus Dixon Jr. Sandwich: chicken cheddar.

• Long Cane – Madison Daniel. Sandwich: turkey salad with sea salt vinaigrette.

• Mountville – Caden McMillian, second place winner. Sandwich: peanut butter and fruit.

• Rosemont – Ryan Gorski, best presentation. Sandwich: “The Fancy.”

• West Point – Zikei Brooks, first place winner. Sandwich: crunchy peanut butter and banana.

• Whitesville Road – Kristen Harmon, healthiest. Sandwich: broiled tomato pesto.

Judges included John Radcliffe, assistant superintendent; Christy Mason, coordinator of health services; Penny Johnson, LaGrange High School principal; Janice Shelnutt, technology support; and Angel Carroll, territory manager for General Mills.

Kevin Neiman, district manager for Sodexo, served as the master of ceremony for the evening. Alana Jones, director of nutrition; Tiffany Hill, chef; and Steve Dyer, general manager of Sodexo, worked closely with schools to make this event a success.