Area Elementary Students Via for Top Chef in Sodexo's Future Chef Competition

Fifteen local elementary students from all over our district participated in Sodexo’s Future Chef Competition on their first day of spring break. Students were asked to prepare a healthy salad recipe to be judged by a distinguished panel of judges.

According to Sodexo, the company that administers the school cafeterias in the district, the national program is in its third year (only second in Okaloosa County) and is part of their commitment to bolstering local communities by promoting well-being in support of achievement. The Future Chefs competition was created to get students thinking about making healthy food choices in life while also encouraging them to get active and creative in the kitchen.

Students worked with district Sodexo staff to prepare their own recipes which were then judged on originality, taste, presentation, kid friendliness, and use of healthy ingredients.

“We heard about the chef’s competition and my mom thought that it would be good idea for me to participate,” said Madeline Castro, a fourth grade student at Florosa Elementary.

Castro prepared Craisy Cranapple Surprise for the judges.

Lexi Meeks, a third grade student at Walker Elementary, got her recipe for Fruity Pasta Salad off of the internet.

“The dressing for it is vanilla yogurt, honey and lime juice,” said Meeks. “You mix it up and add cheese, pea pods, strawberries, honey dew, and noodles. It is really good and healthy.”

According to Larry Haile, Sodexo’s General Manager, the competition was very close.

“Between first and third place, there was only 8/10ths of a vote,” said Haile. “So you guys did a great job!”

When the votes were in, Lexi Meeks took first place, Madeline Castro, placed second, and Jace Barefield from Edge Elementary placed third.

All participants received a Visa Gift Card and certificate of achievement.   

Congratulations to all of the participants:

Anajah Madden - Kenwood Elementary
Angelina Castro - Northwood Elementary
Brady Fields - Bob Sikes Elementary
Giovanni Galvan - Destin Elementary
Jace Barefield - Edge Elementary
Kalani Yen - Plew Elementary
Leah Cuebas - Mary Esther Elementary
Libby Clifton - Bluewater Elementary
Taylor Hendricks - Plew Elementary
Taylor Ford - Destin Elementary
Tehya Taylor - Mary Esther Elementary
Thalia Mendoza - Bob Sikes Elementary
Wini Collins - Riverside Elementary

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