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Culinary students compete for a spot on the 2019 lunch menu

Dec. 14, 2018 - This week, culinary students from across the district cooked up some tasty competition at the fifth annual Chartwells Food Show.

The competition featured four teams from three different high schools -- Frank H. Peterson, Sandalwood and Terry Parker -- in an ultimate battle of the salads, with the winning team getting the chance to have their salad in the district's 2019 school lunch menu.

Each team created a signature salad for their peers to sample. Students in all grade-levels had the opportunity to vote for their favorite signature salad along with other lunch menu items at the event. The teams and their signature salads were:

  • Frank H. Peterson Sophomores Peter Gil, Trevor Galbreath and Jae Moon made a Southwest Chicken Salad with a brown rice base and BBQ ranch dressing.

  • Frank H. Peterson Juniors Caitlin Baker, Kerim Riley and Ruben Cisneros made a Seared Chicken Salad with sautéed onions and a poppyseed dressing.

  • Sandalwood students Tia Hepburn, Destinee Bryant and Ashley Zeigler made a Sweet Kale Salad with chicken, dried cranberries, cucumbers and a light balsamic dressing.

  • Terry Parker students Jason Phipps, Ebony Sharp, Imani Flores, Andres Cruz, Jayne Cregg, Madelyn Johnson and Margarette Hernandez made an Asian Quinoa Salad with chicken and a sesame dressing.

All salads created by the students align with state and national nutritional standards. Standards include staying within a specified calorie range, using only whole grains and using one meat or meat alternative in each salad.

For some of the 16 students competing, the grand prize was bragging rights. For others, like Terry Parker senior Jason Phipps, getting his recipe featured on the school lunch menu is a resume builder.

"I want to go to culinary school," said Phipps. "I already have offers from Johnson and Wales University."

In the 2017-18 school year, nearly 270 students in the district's culinary program came out with full Serve Safe certifications, allowing them the opportunity to work in any restaurant kitchen in the state.

Phipps, who is among the district's 247 culinary students this year, is working hard toward these certifications to get a head-start on his becoming a chef at Johnson and Wales. Until then, Phipps hopes he can earn his title as "chef" of his high school's lunch option in 2019.

Winners will be announced on social media @DuvalSchools.


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