On Saturday, March 25th, students from Arcadia Elementary and Riverside Elementary filled the kitchen at Riverside Elementary School to compete for a chance to win the title of Sodexo Future Chef 2017.

Sodexo Future Chefs is a national competition, which initially began with lunch managers and Sodexo chefs competing and quickly transitioned into kids cooking as a way to encourage healthy habits by incorporating the fun and challenging elements of being a chef and creating healthy food that others want to eat.

Both Deer Park School District and Riverside School District contract with Sodexo to manage their Food Service Programs that feed close to 4000 school age kids on a daily basis. For the Future Chef 2017 competition, dozens of students submitted recipes based on the requirement of making comfort food healthy. From those recipe submissions, 9 students from Deer Park’s Arcadia Elementary and Riverside School District’s Riverside Elementary were chosen to compete and were judged on the following criteria: healthy attribution, kid appeal, ease of preparation, plate presentation, originality and taste with a winner in each category. The first-place winner has the opportunity to go on to compete in the regional championship, with the regional winner moving on to the national championship.

At the end of the day, students had a great time creating, preparing, and serving their dishes – some of the “Future Chefs” prepared original creations while others prepared family recipes they had improved upon. Dishes ranged from a “fajita breakfast burrito” to a “beef tornado” (beef burrito, with special ingredients!).

The winner beamed with pride as he accepted the first-place trophy. He will now cook in the regionals for a chance to enter the national competition. A huge thanks to Food Service Director and Karla Shaffer and her assistant Tiffany Motzkus for their efforts in putting this event on and providing such a great opportunity for kids to enjoy cooking and learning about nutrition!




  • Sonja

    This future chef program is such a great thing. My granddaughter competed last year and really enjoyed it. They put their final product on a plate and with help of a chef they make it look like it came from a great restaurant. Hopefully many future chefs will try this in years to come. Congratulations to all those who competed.

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